Author Angela Duckworth, defines Grit as a child’s “perseverance and passion for long-term goals.” Her research shows that the measuree of Grit that a child develops is a better indicator of future earnings and happiness than either IQ or talent.
While the word grit may conjure images of Cowboys and Boxers, in the past decade or so it has taken on a whole new meaning that has stolen the attention of parents and educators alike. Helping your child develop Grit helps them break through barriers that they face on an everyday basis.
Sometimes we have no choice but to let kids go through things. Sometimes they work out in the end and sometimes not, despite all of our efforts; however your child’s ability to continue to work hard, endure struggle, fail, and try again is the main key to determining thier long-term success and happiness.
So as parents and teachers, how can we teach our kids to keep pushing themselves and be receptive to these tough lessons? Here are few ideas the Grit experts teach about how to be intentional in our quest to build grit.
#1 Find Your Passion – As children grow, pursuing an interest helps to identify a passion and understand that perseverance is main way to achieve their goal. Gritty people can stay motivated to seek happiness through focused engagement and have a sense of meaning or purpose. A way to make sure they keep searching for that commitment is to establish a “Hard Thing Rule.” This rule establishes that each member of our households has to be working on something difficult at any given time.
#2 Failure Is Your Friend
Teach them that failure is your friend. Another secret to success is learning from our mistakes. Knowing that Failure is our Teacher, we can collect data on what doesn’t work, to develop better plans to implement. Don’t allow them to give up on their dreams. If they fail, it’s not the end of the world and there are plenty more chances for success in life!
#3 Understand the Valley
When your child meets with a skill, that is difficult to master resist the urge to allow her to quit at the low point, or “Valley”. Instead encourage from where they are in order for them work through problems while also teaching resilience which can lead into success stories later on! Help them discover ways that they may be able make plans for success like brainstorming strategies
#4 Get A Coach
Find a mentor, coach, instructor who has been there before. Just having that experience on our side can help make it feel not so overwhelming. Knowing that there is a GPS set to reach their destination will help them have the confidence to keep moving forward.
The most difficult thing about life isn’t getting started; rather it’s staying motivated when everything seems to be going wrong, and we’re faced against long odds stacked against us like an insurmountable wall of bricks. So, we need to not let our protective instincts rob our kids of first-hand experiences with hard-won victories.
Help them learn to become aware enough, and care deeply enough about their goal, art, craft, mission to vow that when things get tough…
they will choose GRIT over quit!