Telling your young children that they are smart may not be all that wise.
A new study found that it's probably not helpful for parents to shower their young daughters or sons with commentary* meant to boost self-esteem, such as “you’re a good girl.
Instead, toddlers who hear praise directed at their efforts, such as “you worked hard on that” are more likely to prefer challenging versus easy tasks and to believe that intelligence and personality can improve with effort.
“The kind of praise focused on effort is called ‘process praise’ and sends the message that effort and actions are the sources of success, leading children to believe they can improve their performance through hard work,” said Elizabeth Gunderson, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Temple University and lead author on the study.
These findings suggest that improving the quality of early parental praise may help children develop the belief that their future success is in their own hands
The above story is based on the February 5, 2013 news release by Temple University.
The article has been published online February 11, 2013:
Gunderson EA, Gripshover SJ, Romero C, Dweck CS, Goldin-Meadow S, Levine SC. (2013), Parent Praise to 1- to 3-Year-Olds Predicts Children's Motivational Frameworks 5 Years Later. Child Development. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12064
Click HERE to read the complete report.
Learn more about child development from the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
* Person praise implied that a child possessed a fixed, positive quality, (“you’re a smart girl,” “you’re good at this”). Other praise included all other types of praise (“you got it”, “great”).