Sunday, October 16, 2011

Praising Effort not Ability

Something very important that I learned is that it is better to praise his effort than just to say "You're so smart." Even as a baby, Raccoon had a low tolerance for failure and would get extremely frustrated if he couldn't do something the first time. Up until about a year and a half, I'd been praising him as the Doman books suggested, saying "You're a genius," etc. But after reading an article similar to this one, I began to praise him for trying again, being patience, persevering, working hard, and for practicing. I figured he was too little to notice the difference or understand the meaning of the words, but he surprised me. Within about a month I noticed a significant difference in his behavior, including a much higher tolerance of failure and more willingness to practice new skills, whereas before he would just give up and throw a rage-filled tantrum.

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