There's one parent that comes to mind from this year's conferences that was positive their child wasn't smart. "Academics aren't his thing." "Sometimes I just don't think his brain works." "He doesn't get a lot of things."
Now I get it. Now I see why this child is so down on himself when he makes small mistakes. He isn't believed in by one of the people he loves and trusts the most. What I explained to that parent was that there is a difference between not being able to identify the most important information from a reading and not being smart. His grades show that he's improving. I'm proud of him and so should both her and her student be. She left relieved. That's a good thing to see in a parent. It should be a positive experience, not negative.