A few months back I was listening to a copy of Scientific American Mind and was fascinated by an article entitled - "The Secret to Raising Smart Kids" which touted its credibility with "more than 30 years of research has revealed the key to success for your kids - in school and in life."
The secret was totally counter to the approach I was actually taking with my five year old daughter. I understood that I should be building confidence by re-enforcing the fact that she was smart, clever and generally a genius. Well, the 30 years of research in the article was very clear that my approach could lead to an adolescent and adult that would withdraw from difficult tasks - essentially leading to the opposite of my intention.
It turns out, that praising your child for their hard work, for sticking at it, for being persistent and getting there in the end is the way to create smart children - or much more importantly, children that get things done, that archive and that win.
In fact, it makes perfect sense. The people that succeed are the ones who can think for themselves and get things done! So, there you go, praise your children for their hard work, not for being brilliant.
Article: The Secret to Raising Smart Kids
Journal: Scientific American Mind
1st June 2007