Can you name a word that ends in i-t and is synonymous with Can-Do?
GRIT: Passion and perseverance for long-term goals.
Living life as if it were a marathon, not a sprint. The number one predictor of future success – both academically and professionally. A character trait which statistically trumps traditionally-emphasized factors such as IQ and talent. And the hot topic of Hudson’s recent Parent Education events.
Dr. Angela Lee Duckworth, Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, presents “True Grit” in the 2013 AP Annual Conference. During her Keynote speech, the topic of developing helpful student strategies for hard work and adaptation despite inevitable distraction and defeat is initiated.
Hudson parents and staff members, over the last two weeks, continued the conversation.
Four basic questions were posed to the Hudson community:
- A two year old has an immense amount of determination. What happened with your child after two? Where did her GRIT go?
- During which activities do your (older) children still demonstrate GRIT?
- Which activities do you find your child giving up easily on?
- What new things can we try to develop Grittiness in our children?
Comments were insightful, honest, and thought-provoking. Of course, focus tended towards our role as parents and teachers, how we can either ignite or completely stifle GRIT in our children.
A difficult but central topic was that of failure. GRIT is dependent upon the inevitability of failure, tolerance for frustration, trying again in spite of failure, and belief in self. Mark Meyer, Head of School, pointed out that “we all want better for our children than we had ourselves. But too often, in giving them those things we didn’t have, we unintentionally cripple their GRIT-aquiring skills. We have to allow our children to fail.”
The good news is that all this was debated and discussed as a community. If we have to tolerate failure as a necessary step towards growth , at least we don’t have to do it alone. We can support one another in the effort, reiterate the big picture, congratulate each success, and identify with one another’s frustration. We can model GRIT for our children. And we can Surrogate-Grit one another.