Kids and Grit
We all want our kids to be their absolute best. One of the ways we can try and do that is by helping them grow their grit. (See- What is Grit) This doesn’t necessarily mean making them pull themselves up by their bootstraps and get a job done. It is more about coaching them and helping them realize that failure isn’t bad, it’s a stepping stone. Encouraging them to try things on their own and take on manageable challenges. As they meet goals, they will build confidence.
An article that I came across by Jenny Williams, has a great post on A Fine Parent about what grit is, why kids need it, and how you can foster it; is a great explanation. One of my favorite quotes from this post is- “While the word grit may conjure images of Rocky Balboa or Dirty Harry, in the past decade or so it has taken on a whole new meaning that has stolen the attention of parents and educators alike.”
Grit is that focus that allows someone to maintain the discipline and the optimism to persevere in their goals regardless of how hard it gets, how afraid they might be of rejection or failure. It is determination, passion, and resilience to keep moving forward. Jenny’s article is extremely informative and helpful. A warning, this can be as hard for you (as the parent) to watch as it is for them to overcome sometimes. It hurts us when our kids “fail” or when they feel bad about something. Trust me, I know! Helping your kids with their grit definitely helps you strengthen yours as well.
Scholastic has a great article on how to raise a kid with grit. In it, it talks about ways to help your child be gritty. One suggestion is to let them pursue something difficult, something that will require discipline to practice. Another suggestion is to promote perseverance. Everyone is not great at everything and even if you have some natural talent you still have to practice and hone your skill.
If your child gets into something that they find isn’t for them, try and have them finish through that season/session. There are valuable skills that can be learned even in things that we find aren’t for us. I attempted trying to learn to draw, and I’ll tell you I’m completely horrible at it. However, I learned skills about patience, colors, and attention to detail that I didn’t know before. There’s always something you can pull out of an experience to help you in other areas.
Another great article found on Very Well Family talks about allowing your child to get frustrated. It helps develop resilience. Be there to encourage them and to direct them into finding solutions for their frustration. That’s the key to growing. If you child learns early on that in their frustration they should step back and find a solution it will help them throughout life.
Books on helping kids with Grit