Friday, February 16, 2007

Self esteem

Albert Mohler comments on and quotes at length from a New York Magazine article titled "How not to Talk to Your Kids." It seems that the absurdities of the self-esteem movement are at last becoming apparent even to some of its one-time advocates.

It is important to offer praise, the researchers conclude, but only for the right thing:
“Emphasizing effort gives a child a variable that they can control,” she explains. “They come to see themselves as in control of their success. Emphasizing natural intelligence takes it out of the child’s control, and it provides no good recipe for responding to a failure.”

In follow-up interviews, Dweck discovered that those who think that innate intelligence is the key to success begin to discount the importance of effort. I am smart, the kids’ reasoning goes; I don’t need to put out effort. Expending effort becomes stigmatized—it’s public proof that you can’t cut it on your natural gifts.
Source: New York Magazine: How Not to Talk to Your Kids

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