Success after IF

study on the "peril of praising your kids"

If you're a research dork like me, you might find this NY Magazine article interesting:


It discusses experiments with kids, showing that praising a kid's good performance by saying "you're smart" actually led them to perform worse on subsequent tasks, while praising them with "you worked hard" led them to perform better, and to have more fun on subsequent tasks.

It reminds me of that article going around on FB about how you should tell kids "I really enjoyed watching you play soccer" rather than "you are really good at soccer/" 

Something interesting to keep in mind. Those with older LO's, have you ever thought about/ tried this?

DH and I are Americans living an adventure in Kenya since 2011
DX: PCOS (annovulatory)
Feb 2012: IUI #1 w/ only 1M sperm and a single follie = BFP! 
Nov 2012: Little buddy born in Kenya
Nov 2013: Trying for a second, still w PCOS
Dec 2013: IUI cycle canceled for non-response
Jan 2014: Break cycle BFP!

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Re: study on the "peril of praising your kids"

  • With my oldest, he's 7, I found myself saying things like "wow, you're smart" when he'd do things that at least to me seemed beyond his age.  At some point I read something that says the same thing here and did start switching it up to wow, you worked so hard on that, good job, etc. 

    Normally I don't pay too much attention to studies like this but I found this one interesting just because it seemed to at fit Shannon almost perfectly.  It was like because we told him he was smart he just assumed things would come easily to him then (so because he could figure out 4x4 then even something like 16x4 should be just as easy.)  His teacher told me at our conference that he sometimes gets very upset when he doesn't know how to spell a word correctly even though it's clearly a word no-one would expect a first grader to be able to spell.  So, putting those types of things together I thought I'd trying chaning the way I talk to him and I did have a talk with him just about how all you can do is try your hardest and then no matter what the result you can feel good about how hard you tried.  It seems to be helping.

    Kelly, Mom to Christopher Shannon 9.27.06, Catherine Quinn 2.24.09, Trey Barton lost on 12.28.09, Therese Barton lost on 6.10.10, Joseph Sullivan 7.23.11, and our latest, Victoria Maren 11.15.12

    Secondary infertility success with IVF, then two losses, one at 14 weeks and one at 10 weeks, then success with IUI and then just pure, crazy luck.  Expecting our fifth in May as the result of a FET.

    This Cluttered Life

  • That you for posting, that was a fascinating read! I think I do a mix of both. I certainly tell him he is smart of clever, but I also call him a good problem solver. (I say this to both of the boys.) I think I have read other studies similar to this as well as being a little sensitive to too much praise for a child when a sibling has special needs. My sister is on the spectrum so she would never be as 'smart' as me. My younger son has both a speech disorder and a food sensitivity so I don't want to put to much focus on one child's 'smartness' when there isn't a level playing field. I think some competition is fine, but I don't want to undermine the sibling relationship, kwim?

    DS1 does seem to have an obsession with doing things 'perfectly.' I don't feel like I use that word a lot, but I have been conscious of it recently to try to eliminate it from my vocabulary if I am the source of it. I try to stress to him that it doesn't matter if he does something right the first time (drawing a picture or writing a word) but what matters is trying again until you get it right. Erasers were made for a reason, and no one is perfect.
    Married 9-4-04

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  • I am actually pretty careful about this. The study (or one like it) has been out for a while and I used it when praising students in the classroom.
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    Unexplained Infertility

    After two Clomid cycles, three injectable IUI cycles, two IVFs, two miscarriages, and one lap surgery, IVF #2 has brought us our little boy!

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    After months of being postponed or cancelled, FET #1.3 (Natural FET) brought us twin girls!

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  • I have seen something like that or possibly that before, I think its a wonderful idea. To be very thoughtful about how to praise without giving children a big ego! 
    TTC since August 2009
    Clomid for 6 cycles starting August 2010- O but no BFP
    SA Septemeber 2010 Looking good 
    HSG September 2010 All clear 
    1st RE visit May 2011 - IUI#1 June 20, 2011: BFN
    IUI #2 July 31 2011: BFP - m/c @ 5w1d
    Surprise BFP on a break cycle 10/4/11, Due June 4, 2012, Born 6/9/2012
    TTC Blog
    TTC#2 : Cycles 1-3 Protocol 1500mg Metformin Daily, Femara + Ovidrel, Progresterone support 
    HSG#2 November 2013 All clear
    Cycle 4 Metformin, Femara, Bravelle, Ovidrel, Progesterone = BFP
    Little Lady Born 8/28/2014
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    "There is a design, an alignment, a cry of my heart to see, 
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