Archive for June 10th, 2009

Final notes from The Talent Code: A few random observations and quotes.

Studies show that the baby-brain DVDs don’t make children smarter. In fact, they dumb your children down. Baby-brain DVDs don’t work because they don’t create deep practice, rather, they prevent it. They prevent it by taking up time that could be used for doing something (like staggering around in the real world) that would actually contribute to their learning and skill.

“Neurosis is just a high-class word for whining. The trouble with most therapy is that it helps you to feel better. But you don’t get better. You have to back it up with action, action, action.” Dr. Albert Ellis

What’s more important, IQ or self-discipline? In 2005 psychologists Martin Seligman and Angela Duckworth studied several parameters of 164 eighth graders, including IQ, along with five tests that measured self-discipline. It turned out that self-discipline was twice as accurate as IQ in predicting the students’ grade-point average.

Rather than sitting around speculating on what gift your child has or trying to imagine his destiny, allow him to follow his interests. Carol Dweck, psychologist, says that all the world’s parenting advice can be distilled to two simple rules: pay attention to what your children are fascinated by, and praise them for their effort.

Always praise for effort (“Dude, you really worked hard for that!” “Really great effort, that’s what I’m looking for!”) rather than praising intelligence (“Wow, you must be very smart.”). The reality is that success is based more upon struggling to succeed and learning to do it the right way, than it is upon mere native intelligence or innate talent. When you’re just starting out, you don’t “play” tennis; you fight at it. You struggle to hit the ball correctly, accurately, in the proper way. It is a battle to learn to “play.” And if you’re not willing to put forth the effort to fight at tennis, you will never experience the joy of playing tennis.

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