Grit is the ability to clench your teeth and get through a tough situation rather than throwing your hands up the moment there is an issue. Everyday we are presented with challenges and the only way to succeed and grow strong is to be able to work through it. Nothing is ever gained by giving up. Some kids naturally seem to have more grit than others. That may be because of the way they were raised or it may just be born inside of them. The good news is grit can be developed.
So how do parents begin to develop grit in their kids? One of the first ways is to stop saving them. Parents are so quick to help but many times what they are saying non verbally is “let me, you cant”. Parents are also not allowing their child to problem solve or utilize patience. It may take your child extra time to zipper or tie a shoe but build in extra time to allow them to do it. When children can hold a knife safety allow them to cut their own dinner, yes it will be a struggle but one they can get through. It never ceases to amaze me how many middle school children don’t know this basic skill. Allow your children to do things on their own even if its hard.
Its also important to put them in activities where they aren’t the best. It is in these activities they learn to work hard and overcome obstacles. Through working hard and having to try, they develop skills that will help them throughout their life.
Make sure you are pointing out instances where your child persevered, let them know that you noticed that they didn’t give up. More importantly talk about how you persevered. Discuss your work/life and obstacles that you had to overcome or a project that was frustrating that you finally completed. Show your kids example of grit.