Prefer praising process and effort as opposed to innate characteristics, ability, etc. Note that it’s “prefer” not “always”.
- Scores on a math test
- ✅ I saw you studying hard for that test, that’s great!
- ❌ Congrats on the A!
- Success in a sport
- ✅ You practiced really hard for that win!
- ❌ You won! Hooray!
Gunderson, Elizabeth A., Sarah J. Gripshover, Carissa Romero, Carol S. Dweck, Susan Goldin-Meadow, and Susan C. Levine. 2013. “Parent Praise to 1-3 Year-Olds Predicts Children’s Motivational Frameworks 5 Years Later.” Child Development 84 (5): 1526–41. https://doi.org/10.1111/cdev.12064.
Gunderson, Elizabeth A., Nicole S. Sorhagen, Sarah J. Gripshover, Carol S. Dweck, Susan Goldin-Meadow, and Susan C. Levine. 2018. “Parent Praise to Toddlers Predicts Fourth Grade Academic Achievement via Children’s Incremental Mindsets.” Developmental Psychology 54 (3): 397–409. https://doi.org/10.1037/dev0000444.