Avoid THIS mistake to raise successful children!

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Is saying ‘good job’ to your kids an oft-repeated part of your vocabulary? You’ll be surprised to know that if you want to raise successful children, it may not be that helpful.

Praising our child comes automatically to us. It doesn’t matter how significant the achievement is, we are quick to say, “Good job” or “I’m proud of you”. According to this report, it may not be in the best interest of the child. Praising a child for their intelligence can undermine his motivation and performance, says Carol Dweck, Ph.D., in her research paper co-written with Claudia M Mueller.

Intelligence is an attribute that most believe is inherent, or something we are born with. We come into this world with inherent abilities and traits. However, Dr Navya Singh, a clinical psychologist believes that, “Intelligence is also something we fine tune and hone throughout our lives as we acquire knowledge and experience. That is only possible over time, as a result of dedication and consistent hard work. Hence, praising children for intelligence, rather than their hard work and the effort to utilize what they have been endowed with, can be counterproductive.”

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photo: dreamstime

This method of praising children makes them carelessly lazy and gets them into a fixed mindset. Now, that can be dangerous. As parents, what we should actually aim to do is raise children with an evolving and open mindset. This will equip them to handle setbacks and challenges in the future, without feeling stuck. The last thing you want to do is to make a child feel entitled and thereby shirk away from hard work.

Another renowned psychologist, Kavita Mungi feels getting praised and lauded, is a need for one and all, and adds, “Intelligent children need the praise just as much as an average or a below average child. But the problem arises when the intelligent child may be applauded to an extent where the need to achieve is lost.”

So how exactly is one supposed to praise to raise successful children? Continue reading for some tips on the same.

As parents we praise and motivate our children with the best intentions in mind. Realizing that our approach towards raising successful children might be a bit skewed, can be disheartening. It was for me. However, that just pushes me to wonder ‘then how do I encourage a growth mindset in them’? Dr. Singh has some advice to help us raise successful children:

  • Encourage children to have goals and help them work towards them in a systematic manner. Let them know that if they do sustained and organized work towards any goal, they will have your support and encouragement.
  • For young children, you can help them make a schedule and guide them when needed.
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photo: dreamstime

  • Talk to your child. Find out what their needs are, what they struggle with, and what makes them happy.
  • Once the result of any effort or activity, such as an exam or sports event, comes out, no matter what the outcome, appreciate their effort.
  • Manage expectations. Sometimes we don’t get the outcomes despite our best efforts. Help them learn from failures rather than be punitive.

“To see a plant grow into a tree that is strong and sturdy it needs the right amount of water, fertile soil and sunlight. Similarly, to have an intelligent child grow into a successful adult, as parents we need to nurture him with the perfect balance of approval and criticism,” concludes Ms Mungi.

READ: 5 Tips for fathers to raise confident, successful daughters

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