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  • Writer's pictureLola Objois

Unlocking Success: How to Foster Grit in Your Teenager

As parents, we all want our children to achieve success, and we all know success requires more than just intelligence or talent. Grit, the ability to persist through challenges and setbacks, is a key ingredient in achieving long-term success. In her book "Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance," Angela Duckworth explains that grit is not just about being tough or resilient, but also about having a clear sense of purpose and direction. In this post, we'll explore some strategies for helping your middle or high school student develop grit.


What is Grit?

So, what is grit? Grit is a personality trait that involves perseverance, passion, and a strong sense of purpose towards achieving long-term goals. Individuals with grit are able to persist in the face of obstacles and setbacks, and they remain committed to their goals over an extended period of time. Research has shown that grit is a better predictor of success than talent or IQ, and it is associated with higher academic achievement, better job performance, and greater well-being. Angela Duckworth, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, is one of the leading experts in the field of grit. Her book "Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance" explores the concept of grit in-depth, including how to cultivate it in ourselves and others, and the benefits of developing grit for success in life.


How to Help Your Student Develop Grit

Now let's explore some strategies to help your middle or high school student develop grit. First, it's important to encourage goal setting. Setting specific, challenging, and achievable goals is an effective way to cultivate grit. Encourage your student to write down their goals and to revisit them regularly to stay motivated. For more information on helping your teen set goals,we have a whole other blog about it ! Second, help your student find their passion. Passion and grit are closely related, as having a strong interest in something can provide the motivation to persist through challenges. Encourage your student to explore their interests, try new activities, and pursue activities that align with their values. Finally, teach perseverance. Perseverance is the ability to persist in the face of obstacles and setbacks, and it's a key component of grit. Help your student develop perseverance by teaching them to reframe challenges as opportunities for growth, to break big tasks into smaller steps, and to celebrate progress along the way. Remember that not all of these strategies will work for every student. By figuring out which strategy, or combination of strategies, works best for your student, you can help them develop grit and achieve their long-term goals.


Promoting a Growth Mindset

Promoting a growth mindset is another key way to help your middle or high school student develop grit. A growth mindset is the belief that one's abilities and intelligence can be developed through hard work, persistence, and learning from mistakes. This mindset encourages a focus on effort and learning, rather than innate talent or intelligence. To encourage a growth mindset in your student, praise effort over intelligence or talent. For example, if your student receives a good grade on a test, congratulate them by saying "I'm proud of how much effort you put into studying for this test. All your hard work paid off!" instead of “You’re so smart! I knew you could do it!” It’s also important to encourage your student to take risks and try new things, and help them learn from their mistakes. A growth mindset is closely related to grit, as it encourages individuals to persist through challenges and view setbacks as opportunities for growth. By promoting a growth mindset, you can help your student develop the resilience and determination necessary to achieve their long-term goals.


Embracing Failure

One of the most important factors in developing grit is learning to embrace failure. Failure is a natural part of any learning process, and it provides valuable feedback that can help individuals improve and grow. Help your child reframe their mindset to view failures as opportunities for growth and learning, rather than sources of shame or embarrassment. Encourage them to seek out constructive feedback and help them identify areas for improvement. When your child receives a bad grade, instead of scolding them, try asking "what can we do differently next time?"


How a Tutor or Academic Coach Can Help

If you're looking to help your child develop grit, working with a tutor or academic coach can be a great resource. Tutors and academic coaches provide personalized support and guidance, helping students build the skills and knowledge they need to succeed. They can also help students develop grit by teaching goal setting, encouraging perseverance, and promoting a growth mindset. Some strategies that tutors and academic coaches may use include breaking down long-term goals into smaller achievable steps, teaching study skills and time management strategies, and providing feedback and support to help students overcome challenges and setbacks.


Developing Grit Takes Time

Developing grit is a process that takes time, effort, and patience, but the rewards are well worth it. To help your child develop grit, focus on their strengths, provide encouragement and support, and celebrate their successes along the way. By setting goals, encouraging passion, teaching perseverance, promoting a growth mindset, embracing failure, and seeking the help of tutors and academic coaches, your child can build the resilience and determination necessary to achieve their dreams.


In conclusion, as parents, we all want our children to succeed, and developing grit is a critical factor in achieving long-term success for middle and high school students. With your help, your child can overcome obstacles, persist through challenges, and achieve their full potential. Let's work together to build a positive and encouraging environment for our children to thrive in.


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