Having just become a father within the past couple years, I want to be able to do my best and hopefully be able to guide my daughter, but at the same time, grow myself and become grittier. I’d like to think I will follow in my parent’s footsteps and maybe even improve upon what they taught me. Through my continuing education I have now been made aware of some concepts that will help in my future endeavors, but also see that they can be directly applied to my family. I was introduced to Angela Duckworth’s GRIT as well as Carol Dweck’s growth mindset. To get you started in applying it to both yourself and your child, here are 6 things to consider as a parent.
Don’t praise ability or intelligence as doing so may promote a “fixed mindset” when what you really want to be doing is promoting a “growth mindset.” Growth encourages some risk taking to challenge themselves and in turn will find more joy in what they are striving to do and more importantly, learn. So what should you do? Praise them for their effort and tenacity. Not only will they learn, but will also build confidence as they will gradually improve and get better at things through increased effort.
Don’t ignore outcome, tie to effort by attributing their success and accomplishments to hard work. In learning something new or improving, the process of getting there leads to their progress. Even though my daughter is still very young, we can at least begin practicing on the small accomplishments such as overcoming the initial fear of something new like learning to swim and becoming acquainted with water.
Respond positively to failure by teaching them that failure can be a learning and teachable moment. Failure is all part of the process and can be built upon for future accomplishments because no one can really expect to be perfect right away. Again, this will build confidence as well as their grit as they move on through life. Real achievement doesn’t come easy and resilience comes from learning to get back up and continuing to follow through.
Want to know more about Grit? Read Angela Duckworth’s book GRIT.