Carol Dweck: Telling kids they’re smart can backfire

"We've almost been brainwashed to say, 'You're so smart,'" says Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck. The problem? This kind of praise can hold kids back.

Dweck explains why parents’ typical response to good grades, soccer goals, and other accomplishments doesn’t work — and what you should say instead.

More videos! Watch Carol Dweck on the "gifted curse" and the transformative power of this one small word.

Video transcript: "If a child comes home with a trophy or an A, we’ve almost been brainwashed to say, ‘You’re so smart, you’re so talented.’ It feels like it’s the highest accolade and will give the child pride and confidence; and years of our research shows: don’t do it!  It makes them worried about not living up to it, it makes them stop growing. And instead, we need to say, ‘Wow, you put X, Y, and Z — hard work, persistence — into working on this subject or practicing that skill. And this is the reward you get for how good you became at it.’"

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