“Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not like it’s a sprint.”
– Angela Duckworth, author of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance
At Athlos Academy, we teach children the importance of 12 traits that we call our Performance Character traits. Our Performance Character pillar recognizes the deep connection between these character traits and success. The development of Performance Character is integrated into every learning opportunity, allowing students to experience this connection first hand. Traits like leadership, integrity, courage, and optimism become a lens through which students view their learning as about more than grades, but as learning for life.
Like all important lessons, reinforcing learning at home is a key factor to success. One of the best ways for parents to do this is to positively model the traits at home and to encourage trait development. In our 12-part ‘Performance Character at Home’ blog series, we will offer some simple, yet effective ways, to support children’s Performance Character development, starting with grit.
What is grit?
Athlos defines grit as rising up to meet challenges and persevering in spite of failure.
Why is grit important?
People who have grit are successful in achieving long-term goals. Grit enables people to persist through difficult times, to see roadblocks as steps to overcome and to see failures and setbacks as opportunities to learn and grow. In short, grit is a strong predictor of future success.
How can I help my child develop grit?
Grit is a trait that takes time to build, but there are some simple ways to begin teaching grit at home.
- Start by reading your child stories about characters who are resilient and who have overcome difficulties, sometimes failing, before succeeding. “The Hugging Tree: A Story about Resilience” is a great children’s book for kids of many ages.
- Routines can also help instill grit in children. Try something as small as setting up a morning routine that includes your child making their bed each day, and follow through to make sure they stay consistent in this routine.
- Work toward a goal that you can break up into projects or milestones. This will teach your child that there are steps that need to be completed to reach a goal. Some steps or tasks might take more time and grit to complete, while some may be easier. If your child struggles with a specific part of the goal, and even if they fail, use these setbacks as opportunities to learn and grow.
- Have a trait conversation with your child about the role that grit plays in their school day. Ask questions like:
- How did you show grit today?
- How was grit important during your classroom instruction or on the turf?
- How could you show grit at school, at home, etc.?