Kid Talk


kids070219_3_1981One of the questions that comes up often is about talking to kids–specifically, how do you encourage them along? The simple and surprising answer from the research is to praise them for their effort, not their innate skill. The reason, as Carol Dweck explains, is that when you praise for skill, kids tend to react by protecting their status — they don’t want to take risks that might harm their standing. When you praise for effort, on the other hand, kids tend to react by taking on more challenging tasks, making mistakes and fixing them, spending time in the sweet spot where skill is truly acquired.

Here’s a good article in which Po Bronson explains how it works.

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3 Responses to “Kid Talk”

  1. Allison says:

    Great blog but you don’t have an RSS feed! Please get one so I can subscribe.

  2. djcoyle says:

    Thanks, Allison — got one now!

  3. Fowe says:

    Great Book, Great Blog!
    I have read your analysis on myelin…
    Making us know that there are some specialized practice we can do to improve the structure of our myelin therefore becoming talented at our desired skills.
    My question now is; What is the natural state/structure of the myelin that an average child is born with?
    does every child have identical initial structure of the myelin?

    Even has we all agree that any skill can be trained and practiced to genius level. Would you say there is no initial natural tendencies towards some particular skills?

    I would appreciate your answer to this three questions.


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