Being praised for being smart can unwittingly lead bright kids to a downward learning spiral.
So says Mary Loftus in an April 2013 Psychology Today article; Smooth Encounters.
Loftus suggests kids who are told they are bright may not put in as much effort, thinking things should come naturally to them.
This can lead to poor results which can make them doubt their ability.
Praise effort, Loftus suggests. Praising the work leading up to the brilliant report or impressive project is often more helpful for the child seeking reassurance. Praise persistence. Praise performance. Remind the child of obstacles overcome.
This kind of praise leads to intellectual and social success.
Free the Children is a great read. I couldn’t put it down. It is the true story of one young boy’s determination to change the world.
Thinking about Free The Children by Craig Kielburger, I realized if you want to start an organization of your own, an analysis of Kielburger’s success is a good place to start.
Vision: Kielburger’s goal? To continue the work of a freed child-labourer who had been assassinated.
Mandate: Children working together to right injustices perpetrated against impoverished children. Kielberger envisioned children (up to and through their teens) and not adults being in charge. In pursuit of that vision, he enlisted the help of his schoolmates. They encouraged each other in the belief that this was possible.
Education: Kielburger and his team educated themselves on the topic, learning all they could. And when confronted by people who saw the situation from a more sophisticated perspective they researched & studied until they were able to return and respond appropriately. This later served Kielburger well in dealing with governmental agencies and other administrative bodies.
Action: He first worked locally, and then through his network of friends, travelled the world. He wanted to see the situation firsthand so that he could report accurately from his own knowledge. In his travels he interviewed many of child labourers. He found he was often surprised by their perspectives.
Respect: He showed respect, even for his opponents, as well as for the impoverished children, government officials and charitable organization administrators. He observed and analyzed positions of the various authorities under whom child labour existed. HIs cool and knowledgeable demeanour won him the respect of all.
The Free the Children organization is responsible for building more than 650 schools providing daily education 55,000 children.