How Not to Talk to Your Kids

Dreeza

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#1
http://nymag.com/news/features/27840/index.html

this article is incredibly interesting.

It is long, but well worth the read for parents/future parents.

To sum it up:

praising your kid that they are smart will often negatively affect them...

praising your kid for effort will improve their success...

hmm...my parents obviously knew this...i dont think they have ever told me i am smart....they ALWAYS praised my effort
 

chinchow

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#2
That is very interesting.

But what about kids who have extremely low self-confidence?
Some kids take "nice effort" in a very opposite way than this is intending...some think this means "nice effort, but you really could have/should have done a lot better."

I always tell my kids they are smart, because, really, they are. But, I wish they'd apply themselves to things in front of them, MORE than just things they are interested in. I can't blame them, I was the same way, and I don't force them, because you really can't control minds, but if my daughter put as much attention to her core schooling as she did the dogs, horses, cats, and the humane society, she'd be in college at 17 years old right now.
 

Dreeza

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#3
That is very interesting.

But what about kids who have extremely low self-confidence?
Some kids take "nice effort" in a very opposite way than this is intending...some think this means "nice effort, but you really could have/should have done a lot better."

I always tell my kids they are smart, because, really, they are. But, I wish they'd apply themselves to things in front of them, MORE than just things they are interested in. I can't blame them, I was the same way, and I don't force them, because you really can't control minds, but if my daughter put as much attention to her core schooling as she did the dogs, horses, cats, and the humane society, she'd be in college at 17 years old right now.
i kinda think thats what the article is getting at though...since you are telling them they are smart, they dont feel like they have to apply themselves.
I think my 'summing' up was kinda misleading...the article says that you should be praising kids for SPECIFIC effort. Like "You did such a great job concentrating on your homework..." or somehting likt that...

i really really hope you dont take what i just said offensively!! I'm not trying to say you are raising your kids wrong...at all!!!
 

chinchow

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#4
Of course not! I'm not offended at all, tkae that apology back, silly! :p

I find articles like this interesting, myself. I like to read through articles on parenting methods that aren't really common. Though, myself, I would never use a new method as an experiment. Actually, I never learned how to be a parent. My first kid was a semi-accident (planned on having him, just not that early) and I literally squeaked by the whole time. I made everything up along the way! LOL

So far so good. Third kid, and she's growing up just fine, probably with the help of her older siblings more than me, since they are older, and she wants to be just like them.

When I taught high school kids though...nice effort was more of an insult to many of them. Some kids really don't understand the intentions of it.
 

Dreeza

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#5
hehe ok, i take it back!!

yeah, i totally know what you mean about the "nice effort" being insulting. Id be insulted for sure!!

I think the example they used in that puzzle study is much more effective...something like “You must have worked really hard.”

My parents are European, so they've always stressed effort over intelligence...so i could really relate to the article.

I definately think individual kids always need to be taken into account...there is always going to be the group of kids that this method does not work for.
 

Buddy'sParents

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#6
The thing with empty praise is that children never learn to apply themselves.

"Good job" and "you're so smart" are words that never get children to apply themselves.

Instead, you should say something like, "I see that you've climbed to the top of the geo climber and you've been trying all week. What a great accomplishment." You have called out the behavior and you have been specific.

"Mom, I got an A on my test!"

Mom's response, "Good job!."

That's it!?

How about; "You studied really hard for that spelling test and you got an A, that's wonderful!"

Again, you're calling on the behavior and praising that.

Every time I say good job to my any of my kids, I smack myself. Literally. I don't do it often, but when I first started my teaching last semester I couldn't stop with the, "good job!" But it means so much more when you call out their behavior and praise that.

Of those praised for their effort, 90 percent chose the harder set of puzzles. Of those praised for their intelligence, a majority chose the easy test. The “smart” kids took the cop-out.
That above sentence was so sad to me. I see it in my classroom and I'm working with infants and toddlers right now! :eek: It's absolutely astounding how far parents will push their children. A child may be smart, but that doesn't need to be the only praise they get from their parents. Sad, sad, sad.
 

smkie

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#7
boy it is confusing anymore..back when i was raising mine, you were suppose to not tell them they were pretty, but that they were intelligent. THe rules are always changing.:rolleyes:
 

Gempress

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#8
I have a slightly different take on this. I was one of the "smart" kids throughout school. I got good grades all the way through high school, without studying.

But I don't think my work ethic was influenced by people telling me I was "smart". Basically, I got used to being able to understand things quickly and with minimal effort. If I ran into something that required a lot of concentrated, long-term effort, I had no idea how to take it.

That nearly killed me in college. I had no clue how to study. I never had to learn how. I was easily discouraged and became frustrated if I didn't understand a concept or subject in 15 minutes. (The ADD didn't help much either, LOL). Needless to say, the kids I outperformed in high school quickly outstripped me in grades.

So I wonder how much of that study truly results from a child being called "smart" vs. how much a kid is used to putting forth effort.
 

chinchow

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#9
I don't call my kids pretty....I don't need them ANY more confident than they already are, LMAO.

My son introduced me to his serious girlfriend recently.
I told him something that I don't think I'll ever forget, because I laughed so hard after I said it...
"You've been through so many girls...see, the hard work payed off. You've done well... just don't climb the ladder anymore please."
 

smkie

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#11
teach em how to play an instrument early, around 5. I think that teaches more about how to learn, the results of practice, and the payoff of long term dedication. I know i have never ever be sorry for my lessons plus the bonus is confidence and enhanced memory plus your a hit at parties.
 

chinchow

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#12
teach em how to play an instrument early, around 5. I think that teaches more about how to learn, the results of practice, and the payoff of long term dedication. I know i have never ever be sorry for my lessons plus the bonus is confidence and enhanced memory plus your a hit at parties.
That's a really good idea!
My son was always interested in the guitar. He took lessons, and now he plays in a band that is extremely popular in our area, and even went on a tour across the country to more than 10 states, spreadout.
Music is an amazing tool, especially for confidence building. It is one thing that can only get better with practice (except maybe singing...I never did get that one, myself, LOL).
 

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