Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Don't tell your kids they are smart

At the National Science Centre booth three-year-old Matthew Cheong discovers magnets with the help of volunteer Yusof Jamhari (left)

Recently, I've been avoiding telling my son that he's smart. Not because he's not smart. Because I think he is smart, at least going by his maths scores, which are usually excellent.

But I decided to heed the growing movement in education that says children should not be praised for innate intelligence or gifts. Talk about talent is almost taboo in some circles.

I read about these ideas a while back but it's taken me a while to get on board. Because weren't we supposed to praise our children to encourage them? Weren't we supposed to cut down criticism, commonplace in previous generations, and boost self-esteem? And isn't talent something so prized, so desired in our children?

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