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  1. Interesting article. I noticed that the swimming episode didn't mention any conversations of encouragement, but rather a discussion with the instructor who was the one to put forth positive reinforcement. There is nothing wrong with telling a child they are smart. The problem is ending it there. I believe that many parents who are already taking notice of their childrens academic abilities will be making positive comments as well. There are some children who need to hear that they ARE smart ! Perhaps your poster should say "Encouraging things to say to your children" and leave it at that.

  2. Thanks Alayna for your comment. The swim instructor was speaking with both me and my daughter, and was providing words of encouragement by saying that she never quits and never complains. I felt like that was a great example of teaching traits that can be grown, rather than those that can be fixed, such as "Wow, you are really fast". I definitely don't think telling a child they are smart is a negative thing, and I totally agree with you that ending it there is the problem. However, the intent of the title is to bring attention to the many other ways to encourage a child.