5 WAYS TO BUILD GRIT IN YOUR CHILD!
As a parent, we always want our children to succeed in anything that they do.
We want to prepare them for the ‘big, real’ world and want to give them the best opportunities available. We want our children to excel at school and be the best that they can be. How do we do this you ask?
Grit seems to be magic word! Psychologist Angela Lee Duckworth had a very interesting TED Talk where she mentioned that the students who were the crème of the crop at school were the ones who were willing to endure and stick to it throughout the school year. More so, the students who ended up graduating were likely made up of really diligent, assiduous students.
Thus proving that it’s not really about IQ or supposed talent level, but that anyone who is willing to work hard by getting gritty could succeed!
Having grit appeared as a noteworthy forecaster of success. So what does this mean for you and your precious ones…time to get gritty folks!
So let’s look at 5 great ways to build GRIT in your child:
- Failure does not mean that it’s over
I think this is one of the most important gifts that you can impart to your children. Failure does not mean it’s the end of the road. Failure does not mean that everything is lost. In fact, children should be encouraged to evaluate what happened and what they learned from their failure. There is always a gift wrapped up in a failed attempt. A little lesson showing you what worked and what didn’t work. Encourage your child to look for these clues and to see how they can use what they learned in their next attempt. Don’t scold them and make them feel bad, otherwise, this will reduce their hunger to try out new things. Pull up a list of successful historians, inventors and business people who have failed insanely but because they didn’t give up it paid off!
- Give them autonomy from a young age
I am not saying leave them in the house alone for hours on end! That will scare any child! What I am saying is that easy with the anxiety. Keep your hands to yourself and put a pin in your mouth and support from the sidelines. Only step in if they really need you or need encouragement. Let them attempt in figuring out whatever task it is on their own.
- Show understanding and empathy
When you see that you child is frustrated and disappointed in themselves, don’t go straight to ‘fix it mode’ to make it better or to save them from the pain. Validate their feelings, “I know this is harder than expected”, “I am so sorry it’s not going well”. Ease them through the grieving process, allow them to feel and show them that you understand and that you are on their side. By showing your child that you believe in them, you are helping in building their resiliency.
- Perfection is not the destination
Careful not to be the ‘perfection police’. Monitoring everything your child does, reminding them that they could do a better job consistently, will surely knock their confidence level. They will fear trying anything out of fear that it might not be right or perfect for your standards. Unless it’s absolutely detrimental that they get it right, let them learn for themselves. This helps build their own confidence and ability in themselves as well as experiencing the pleasure of achieving something.
- Put some challenges in front of your child
That’s right! Get your child involved in some DIY activities, STEAM activities, board games or whatever, it doesn’t really matter what it is. Put them in a situation where they need to figure it out and triumph something that is seen as difficult. Don’t set them up to fail of course, give them all the necessary information and guidelines to set them off and allow them to figure out the rest. Again this gives your child the confidence to confront challenges and to take risks.
Take the time to build grit in your child!
Encourage your child to try out new experiences and challenges. Support him/her and be their biggest fan, however, be careful to not be overprotective because that defeats the purpose. You want to equip your child to be able to handle the world, and as you know as a parent, having a little bit of grit goes a very long way!