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I've always said, "You're a hard worker" to my three kids. I've never told them they were smart and have emphasized how much more important hard work is over intelligence.

Oldest is 12 now, all three do very well.

I'm already working on getting my little one to go for the idea that intelligence == hard intellectual work, not innate ability, and "You're a hard worker!" is pretty good, and I think you for it!

I'm still searching for more, though, because "You're a hard worker," has actually been one of the things I've been trying, but it often feels- wrong. Stilted, like I'm trying too hard to teach instead of just sincerely offer the poor kid the damn praise. ;) Maybe I just need more practice, but I feel like there's room for improvement in the language there. :D :)

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