Not labeling children as smart


I read an article the other day that said parents shouldn’t label their children, even if the label is something good like “smart.”

The example they gave was if your child does very good on a test you shouldn’t say they did well because they are smart because that would suggest that they succeeded because of an inherent characteristic instead of because they did hard work and studied. This would give them the idea that they should always succeed just because of who they are, that intelligence is a fixed genetic trait, not a skill they need to foster. Basically it said you should celebrate the process (studying) and not the end result (good grade).

I’m not sure how I feel about this. I get what they’re saying but I’m not convinced calling your kid smart, or brave, or whatever else is detrimental. I can see the value in celebrating the process but don’t necessarily see the harm in also celebrating the outcome.