Don’t Call Kids ‘Smart’

People labeled “smart” at a young age don’t deal well with being wrong. Life grows stagnant. At whatever age smart people develop the idea that they are smart, they also tend to develop vulnerability around relinquishing that label.

from Pocket


Alma’s to go box:

I’m happy I came across this article. I read one similar to it several years ago, but hadn’t bookmarked or saved it anywhere, so I was just left with the core take-aways and whatever else clung to them in my grey-matter. Children are left with a fear of a less than stellar end game because they don’t want to disappoint those who previously praised them.

The crux of the headline is intrinsically linguistic. A child develops all of these connotations surrounding the word “smart”, from those involving intelligence and insight, to parental pride. The latter is more crucial to setting up the situation discussed in the article, but we can’t overlook the fact that society doesn’t use the word “smart” in the face of failure and perseverance. 

Still, “smart” shouldn’t be a dirty word, but it’s probably worth using it more descriptively.