“Emphasizing effort gives a child a variable they can control … Emphasizing natural intelligence takes it out of the child’s control”
– Dr Carol Dweck
Don’t tell your child he is smart. Instead, praise him for his effort. Be specific e.g “I liked how you passed the ball” instead of “you did great!” after watching your child in a match.
This way children know what to work on and what they are doing right. They will be willing to improve themselves through the specific aspects you praised them for. Whereas, “you are so smart!”, will make a child unwilling to try out difficult task for fear of being seen as inadequate.
From the book Nurture Shock by Po Bronson & Ashley Merryman
Photo from http://www.alltogetherset.com/blog