Call your child talented?

It has been said that one of the cruelest things you can do to your child is call them 'talented'.  Daniel Coyle writes is his book the Talent Code: 'When we praise children for their intelligence (talent), we tell them that's the name of the game: look smart, don't risk making mistakes....we are exquisitely attuned to messages telling us what is valued, and true to findings, each of the (talent) hotbeds I visited used language that affirmed the value of effort and slow progress rather than innate talent or intelligence.  As Spartak, for instance, they did not 'play' tennis - they preferred the verb borot'sya - 'fight' or 'struggle'.  Coyle continues: 'The truth is, when you are starting out, you do not 'play' tennis, you struggle and fight and pay attention and slowly get better.  Effort based language works because it speaks directly to the core of the learning experience'.

A child who is constantly told how good/clever/talented they are will begin to develop a 'fixed' mindset (Mindset, Dr. Carol Dweck) about their abilities and then spend the rest of their lives trying to validate them.  Every 'challenge' becomes a major validation of their fixed 'talent' and failure is disastrous.  Far better to not even 'try' (tanking as it's known in tennis) than actually put my 'talent' on the line. The growth or effort based mindset sees failure as a necessary part of the learning process and is in fact welcomed.

Observe your language and the language around you - is if effort based? Fight for everyball!