Sunday, December 31, 2017

Grit

I read Angela Duckworth's, "Grit:  The Power of Passion and Perseverance", many months ago and wanted to add a blog post about it so I remember a couple of things from the book.  

First, grit is kind of a flimsy concept but Duckworth broadly defines it as being passion and perseverance.  

Second, I was especially interested in the chapter on parenting for grit since I have a young daughter and I would like to instill in her a capacity for grit.  It boils down to this:  the Hard Thing Rule.  There are three parts.  

1.  Everyone -- including mom & dad -- must to a hard thing.  My hard thing could be running, or research.  A child's hard thing could be piano lessons.  
2.  You can quit but *only* at a natural stopping point.  That is, when the semester is over, the payments end, or the interval to which you committed yourself has concluded.  You can *not* quit if you had a crappy day.  
3.  You can pick your hard thing.  Nobody -- mom and dad included -- get to dictate what the hard thing is.  The child is welcome to cycle through as many activities as necessary to find an activity worth sticking to.  

Duckworth also recommends the third rule be amended when the child reaches high school to this:  the child must commit to their hard thing (at least one activity) for at least TWO years.  

The author acknowledges these rules may come off as tyrannical but she disagrees and counters by stating that grit takes practice.  You can't be gritty by not acting gritty.  I agree.  And I hope my daughter sees it the same way.  

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