Why Praise Can Be Bad for Kids

While Specific Praise Can Be Good, Too Much Praise Can Bring Down Kids’ Performance

Feb. 15, 2007 —

Princess

“Wow, you got an A without even studying.”
“Your drawing is wonderful — you’re my little Picasso.”
“Keep it up and you’ll be the next Peyton Manning.”

If you’re like most parents, you offer praise to your children believing it is the key to their success — those flattering words can boost a child’s self-esteem and performance. But according to a new study, praise may do more harm than good. For the study, researchers divided 128 fifth-graders into groups and gave them a simple IQ test. One group was told it did really well and must be very smart. The other group was told it did really well and must have worked hard. One group was praised for intelligence, the other for effort. Asked if they wanted to take a slightly harder test, the kids praised for their intelligence were reluctant. Of those praised for their effort, however, 90 percent were eager for a more challenging task. And on a final test the effort group performed significantly better than the group praised for its intelligence. Many of the kids who had been labeled “smart” performed worst of all. The “hard workers” got the message that they could improve their scores by trying harder, but the “smart” kids believed they should do well without any effort. Source: ABCnews 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s