Is Your Child a Genius? Does it Matter?

Before reading further, please know this: I try to be positive. I think its important that children learn to trust their judgement, think for themselves, and feel good about who they are.

Not many parents tell their children that they're dumber than everyone else. Obviously, this would be abusive and disturbing.

A lot of parents tell their children that they're smarter than everyone else.

What happens when they learn they are not?

Instead of teaching our children (implicitly) to focus on where they are in relationship to everyone else, why don't we teach them to challenge themselves and enjoy the process? 

Go ahead, tell your child they are special. . . they are. But why make their genius the center of their thinking? It might make the parents feel better, but do the children care? Believe it or not, a truly happy child doesn't go around all day thinking "I'm a genius". He might implicitly think "I'm capable of handling the world", but more immediately he's probably thinking/feeling "this is fun, this is challenging, I'm enjoying learning about this."

Ironically, if your child is smart enough to deserve praise, he's certainly smart enough to see through saccharine pseudo-praise. Praise clear thinking, self-discipline, and hard work – tell your child they are a good person because they think for themselves and work hard, regardless of the outcome. Then lay off and let them enjoy life.

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