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.