Posted in Family, Parenting

Do you have Grit?

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’ve had a busy week with work and kid events. I love my kid events. I love seeing how my kids have grown and changed from one year to the next. Sigh. They’re growing up so fast. I’m hoping I’m instilling in them resilience so they can navigate this tough, uncompromising world.

 

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I’ve been hearing rumblings that one of the factors needed for kids to be successful in life is grit.

 

What is Grit?

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To some it’s a small loose particle of stone or sand and that is one of its definitions, but it’s not the one I’m talking about. The grit I’m talking about is:

 

A distinct combination of passion, resilience, determination, and focus that allows a person to maintain the discipline and optimism to persevere in their goals even in the face of discomfort, rejection, and a lack of visible progress for years, or even decades.

 

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How do we develop grit in our children? That’s a good question and in my opinion, grit is like a muscle. It needs exercise to become stronger.

We develop grit in our kids by supporting what they’re passionate about and encouraging them through the learning process. I remember when my youngest was three and he was working with Transformers. It was difficult for him to change the transformer from a robot to a car and then back to a robot. I remember how upset he’d get when he was struggling to learn the process and I’d tell him to take a break. He refused. Even though he was crying, he wouldn’t stop until he mastered that Transformer. That’s grit.

Photo credit: Mafue on VisualHunt / CC BY-SA

  He found something he wanted to achieve and he worked at it until he accomplished his goal, overcoming failure time and again. The next thing he wanted to do was learn how to read and he was reading before he started kindergarten. I had to read stories with him over and over again, until he felt he had accomplished his goal. That’s important, too. The fact that he chose when he felt he was successful.

 I believe part of developing grit is finding a passion. Something to strive for that gives us purpose. For me, it’s writing. I strive to constantly improve and make my stories better. I love writing, bringing characters to life and creating a story. Part of that process is weeding out what isn’t working. Sometimes we have to fail to be better.

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Having grit means that you’re aware failure is part of the process. This is important because if we don’t accept this concept then when we fail we may just give up.

It’s important for my kids to see me fail and struggle with my writing. Why? So they understand that failing is not something to be feared. It’s important to success because we learn more from our failures than we do our successes.  

If we develop the attitude we’re always learning then failure isn’t so scary. If parents hide their failures from their children, which many do, they’ll never learn that it’s okay to fail.

When you have grit, your will to succeed is stronger than your fear of failure. So lets encourage our kids to keep pursuing their dreams. They’ll get there when they’re supposed to and not one moment before. 

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. What do you think our kids will need to be successful? What’s your definition of grit? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

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Author:

I'm a Young Adult Author with two new series, "The Starlight Chronicles" and "The Super Spies." The first one's a coming of age series and the second one's a mystery/thriller series. I'm also the mother of two boys who keep me hopping and they're my inspiration for everything. When I'm not shuttling my boys to school or a play date, I'm writing. When I'm not writing, I'm reading, hiking, or sometimes running. I love anything chocolate and scary movies too.

41 thoughts on “Do you have Grit?

  1. I’m with you Lisa, grit comes primarily from passion and purpose. Failing is part of building resilience to empower success. Hard work, not expectation with none. Failure these days is perceived as a bad thing in schools like you mentioned. I’ve never understood no risk or that modus operandi. It’s part of teaching the brain how to solve problems, deal with failings and not giving up. Deciding what we are actually good at and not so good at. Realising when it’s time to move onto something new and not fearing a decision that’s said, OK, that (whatever) is not really for me.

    Good post Lisa!

      1. I think you are dead right there Lisa. I’m finding time to blog hop now this A to Z is done. Surprising how much time that actually took!!

      2. Very true. Still it did create a new book idea and if I’m honest did show where writing time can be made. Even if everything else gets buried under dust!

      3. Ha, yes. Not sure I’ll do it again mind. But at least I can say I’ve had a go and succeeded. If a book comes out of it then that will be Uber cool too!!

  2. Oh I like this comment box (side note). I love that definition of grit. Also agree failure is part of growth. The part of not seeing visible results for years made me think of writing a novel and just keeping at it and not being too tied to the end results (bestseller) but that I can complete this and I’m passionate about that part.

    1. Definitely! I think us writers have to have that stick-to-itivness that keeps us going so we can finish that novel. I’m working hard at revisions on mine. I’m hoping to make it stronger. And I like the comment box, too. I went for a new design and I’m really happy with it. 🙂

  3. I love this. I’m going to print this off and make my kids read it. When they loose soccer games, they get incredibly frustrated. I’m trying to tell them, it’s not what you do when your on the horse. It’s what you do when you fall off.

    1. Oh wow! That’s such a compliment, Angela. Thank you. I hope it helps your kids deal with their frustration. I like to tell mine that whatever they’re struggling with is an opportunity to learn to do better. I ask them if you don’t like losing, what can you do to win more games? It always comes down to the fact they need to practice more. Once they come to that conclusion themselves then you find out how much they really love the sport and they do too. 🙂

      1. I agree! The problem I have with my kids is they begin to bring up teammates and I have to be like, “don’t focus on them, focus on you”. Thank you for this post!

  4. Hi, Lisa. Have you read Angela Duckworth’s book GRIT? I read it several months ago and found it very interesting. She gave many examples of how grit matters to building resilient kids and how it is one of the most important factors in long term success. Of course, grit doesn’t mean persevering past the point of reasonableness. Sometimes, grit is about realizing the sunk cost of an endeavor and trying something new. I think it’s great that you’re making a point of letting your kids see you struggle and keep trying. I also enjoyed reading how your son sets his own goals and reaches them!

    1. I haven’t read that book, Angela. But thanks for telling me about it. I’m very interested in reading it. I agree with you about realizing the cost and maybe pursuing a certain goal might not be the right one for you and branching off onto something new. I think when a child finds their passion, they know it. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I also enjoy watching my son grow and I love his determination. I’m very proud of him. 🙂

  5. Oh Lisa ! I love this. We definitely need to instil grit within our chikdren and that understanding that you need to work towards your dreams, not expect them to just come true 😍

  6. I love this post, Lisa! Grit is so important to have. I see it in my own children when they fish for hours trying to catch that one fish, or when they paint multiple days per week trying to to make that dog look like an actual dog, or when they practice their rollerblading, and cheer when they finally make it around the block without falling.

    Two important things I think that children need in addition to grit is support and love. If children know that they are supported and loved throughout their endeavors – they will be more likely to continue their practice knowing that if they fail – it’s okay, or if they succeed – we will help them celebrate. They will be loved and supported no matter the outcome.

    Lovely, important, and thought-provoking post!

    1. You are so right, Erin! I should have written that in my post, too about love and support. Those things are just as important if not more important than grit. I have to be careful of that tunnel vision! Thanks for bringing it to my attention! 🙂

  7. I agree with your post for sure. Grit is necessary and has to be encouraged but really learnt for yourself. Our kids have to want something so bad they’ll put all the effort in for it. I saw my son teach himself how to skate and ride like that. No matter how often he fell… right back up and again. Of course, it took all my self-control not to pick him up and pack him away. LOl.

    1. Yeah. Sometimes it’s hard to watch our kids when they’re learning. That’s why I couldn’t watch my hubby teach my boys to ride a bike. I would’ve been a nervous wreck.

  8. Wise words Lisa but I also like what Susie Lindau says in the comments. Grit gives you traction. That is exactly what we need when the slopes of our life path get a little slippery. 🙂

  9. Resilience hit the nail on the head for me! Gotta get back up when you’re knocked down, again and again until you achieve your goal. Great post (as always), Lisa! BTW – love your blog’s new make-over! A job well done!

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