Challenge #16: Reaffirm the Effort

I’ve been reading a lot about how kids are motivated to do well and I’m finding a lot of research (read this post from my mom’s blog) on how when we praise someone for how smart or talented or pretty or wise they are, we’re really hurting their effort.  So, today, I challenge you to reaffirm someone for their effort.  Tell your kid you’re so proud of how hard he worked at picking up his room.  Tell your friend you’ve noticed how purposeful she is as a parent and that you admire that.  Tell your husband you really appreciate how hard he works to provide for your family.


  1. I’ve been working so hard on focusing on my daughter’s effort after reading that blog too. This morning my daughter worked really hard on her “homework” for mom’s day out but she really didn’t get the concept at all. Instead of saying “this is great!” (which is wasn’t) I said “I can see you worked really hard on this!” (which she did).

  2. I am trying hard to change my language with everyone. I think specific words show that I pay attention to what they are doing rather than general words like “great job” which can run out of my mouth thoughtlessly…

  3. What a great reminder. I try to do this but so often forget. Thanks for reminding me to focus on the actual effort. :) By the way, the link isn’t working for me.

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