The Power of Grit

I’ve recently joined the ranks of being a mom to not one but TWO teenage daughters. There’s no greater reward and ego-leveler than parenting! There are probably as many parenting models, tips, and sets of advice as there are diet fads. Just when we think one might work, our child or society switches on us and we lose our title of “Parent of the Year…”

Recently I came across an executive coach (Caroline Miller) as well as an article by a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania that assembled a term I’ve been trying to put to words for years. GRIT.

Something about the “everybody wins” psychology and self-esteem movement seemed to allow self-imposed helplessness in some children. Psychologist Angela Duckworth, Ph.D. introduced me to the term “grit”. She’s studied the role that character plays in success since 2005 and has identified that grit (the ability to push through or bounce back from failure) is a stronger indicator of success than intelligence or academic achievement. I realized that it was self-respect and GRIT that I most wanted to develop in my teenage girls! I can point directly to times when I tried to ease the bumpy road in front of them or make excuses for them to their detriment. I also realized that through both experiences they’ve had at home or with our very own summer camp we’ve created opportunities for the opposite! They’ve both ‘busted through barriers’ of their own, faced the potential of failing and came out ahead, or simply stayed dedicated to learn something difficult. The good news is that we have some ways to foster grit and I’ve listed those below. To explore in more depth- the Ted talk by Caroline Miller and the article by Angela Duckworth are below.

1) Put new challenges in front of your child

2) Promote perseverance- “Don’t Quite on a Bad Day”

3) Be a nudge

4) Be ok with boredom and frustration

5) Let failure unfold and model resilience

http://www.scholastic.com/parents/resources/article/social-emotional-skills/power-defeat-how-to-raise-kid-grit

Good luck!

Anna Birch-Anna Birch | CEO