A Mother's Journey Blog

Applaud Effort And Not Intelligence
I just finising reading “Get Motvated!” by Tamara Lowe (www.GetMotivatedBook.com ). A must-have book! Tamara donates 100% of the proceeds from this book and gives to children’s charities, including World Vision, Feed The Children, Operation Smile, and Toys for Tots.
On pg.205, Tamara talks about a study she came across on student motivation. It suggested that praising children for their intelligence has a negative impact on performance and leaves them poorly equipped to cope with failure. But when you commend a child for their effort, it makes them more eager to learn more. Claudia M. Mueller and Carol S.Dweck, two research psychologist at Columbia University, studied 412 fifth grader. After these children were given easy problems from an IQ test, some children were praised for being smart while others were praised for their effort. Next the children in the study were given a choice between a challenging test and an easier test. 60% of the children who had been praised for being smart chose the easy test, whereas 90% who had been praised for their effort picked the more difficult test. Later, when all the children took a difficult test, the intelligence-praised children became fustrated and lost interest. Dr.Dweck says, “When children are taught the value of concentrating, strategizing, and working hard when dealing with academic challenges, this encourages them to sustain their motivationa, perfomance, and self-esteem.”
Verrry interesting, especially since we have spent all of Charlie’s life praising his intelligence. As I have mentioned perviouly, the majority of ADD/ADHD have a high IQ, but yet their grades never reflect this. We were very excited about applying this new technique. After one day, we already notice a change in Charlie’s attitude.
Enthusiastically yours,
Shirley Highers
When the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence, it may be that they are taking better care of it.