Here is the wrong and right feedback you can give your son when he gets back home with ‘good news’:
NO: you’ve got an A, I’m so proud of you, you are so smart
YES: you’ve got an A, I’m so proud of you, you must have studied really hard
Now let’s see some of the differences:
- ‘you are so smart’ is personal. It is you being something. What happens when you get a C? It’s you being something wrong (stupid?)
- ‘you are so smart’ doesn’t lead to a growth mindset behavior. In fact if you get a C, what should you do? How can you be smart again? How can you grow from this situation?
The ‘you must have studied really hard’, when you get a C, decouple you from the problem + lead to a solution: you have to study harder or in a different way. This enables a growth mindset behavior.
Can you imagine situations, in your working experience, where this kind of feedback can be beneficial? I’m sure you do!