According to the US Department of Education, grit is one of the key skills children need to succeed in the 21st century.
“Grit, what in the world is GRIT?” you ask…
More importantly, did you notice that researchers did not identify beauty, brains or talent to be the important traits to have? (In case you haven’t noticed, society and parents often give a lot of credit to those who hold A, B and C).
So what exactly is grit?
Grit, in a nutshell, is having courage, a backbone, spirit, strength of character, strength of will, moral fibre, fortitude, resolve, determination, perseverance, endurance, guts and spunk.
In short it is defined as having the following qualities:
- The ability to persevere in the face of challenges and setbacks. Put simply, it means the art of never, ever giving up!
- It is when a person is able to identify the right strategies and tactics to assess the situation and apply the right tools to improve that situation.
- It is having the WILLPOWER to look beyond the short-term issues and focus more on the long-term goals. That is, short term pain for long term gain.
Grit is actually quite similar to resilience and thankfully this human capacity to face, overcome and ultimately be strengthened by life’s adversities and challenges is something that is actually LEARNABLE.
Yes you heard right. Grit is TEACHABLE. If you have a child who shows little signs of grit, all is not lost. Grit isn’t something that you either have or don’t have – as parents we can help instill this quality in our children.
To help your child develop GRIT you can do these things:
- Model an optimistic mindset
- Praise them effectively
- Help them cope appropriately with setbacks, disappointments and failure.
Most importantly, you need to ENCOURAGE, ENCOURAGE and ENCOURAGE more for your kids to do well. Encouraging your child will keep him or her feeling more positive and motivated and creates the perfect foundation for living a resilient life.
As your children grow older, this regular act of speaking with positivity and the attitude of “never giving up” will eventually become their inner voice and natural way of coping with challenges.
As Angela Duckworth stated: Grit is sticking with your future day in, and day on and not just for the week, not just for the month but for years, and working really hard to make that future your reality.
Having grit or a growth mindset means you embrace challenges, give your best effort, learn from feedback and become inspired by other people’s successes.
To the contrary, a person with a fixed mindset tends to avoid challenges, gives up easily and is threatened or upset by feedback and mistakes.
G – GIVE IT YOUR ALL
R – REDO IT IF NECESSARY
I – IGNORE GIVING UP
T – TAKE THE TIME TO DO IT RIGHT
TOP TEN TIPS FOR PARENTS
- Don’t accommodate your child’s every need or be a helicopter parent
- Let them make mistakes and encourage your children to learn from them
- Don’t speak as if everything is a catastrophic disaster
- Give your child the emotional support they need to reach their goals – encouragement, empathy and love.
- Provide your child with concrete support too – help them find ways to achieve their goals, show them how to break down the big goal into smaller steps.
- Manage your expectations – don’t expect perfection from your children! You make mistakes too right, and newsflash, you aren’t perfect either
- Build your child’s confidence by allowing them to tackle and master manageable, age-appropriate tasks.
- Encourage your child to solve small problems – start with the easy problems first instead of giving them difficult or unsolvable ones that will just overwhelm them
- Don’t set your child up for failure.
- Praise their hard work and effort, not just the end result
To measure just how gritty you or your child is click here
Want to inspire your child to be more confident and resilient? Click here to read more. Or if you are raising a teen check this book out.
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