Carol Dweck on 3 things for true success

Telling children they're smart makes them believe "smart" is either something they have or don't have and so squelches motivation, says Stanford University psychologist and Mindset author Carol Dweck. Instead, explain to kids that if they're doing these three things, they are on the right track.
YouTube video

Video transcript

“Well, if that were my child, I’d say, smart isn’t a thing that you have or don’t have. Smart is something you become over time. You become smart and smarter by working hard, sticking to things, persevering in the face of obstacles. And if they still say, but really am I smart? I’d say, well if you do those things, if you take on hard tasks, you stick to them, you persevere in the face of obstacles, yes that’s smart.”

About the author is a national nonprofit with a mission to help every child obtain a high-quality education that values their unique abilities, identities, and aspirations. We believe in the power of research-backed, actionable information to empower parents, family members, and educators to help make this happen. For 25 years, the GreatSchools Editorial Team has been working to make the latest, most important, and most actionable research in education, learning, and child development accessible and actionable for parents through articles, videos, podcasts, hands-on learning resources, email and text messaging programs, and more. Our team consists of journalists, researchers, academics, former teachers and education leaders — most of whom are also dedicated parents and family members — who not only research, fact check, and write or produce this information, but who use it in our daily lives as well. We welcome your feedback at