For Parents

We can foster grit and teach perseverance in schools through direct instruction or designing long-term assignments with high expectations and anticipated “bumps” to manage along the way.  Optimism, resilience and goal-setting are all key
components to grit, and if children are presented with tools for promoting these skills, the more likely they’ll be able to achieve whatever they set out to do.  
Nurturing these kinds of qualities at home gives kids an even better chance of later becoming people who can set realistic goals and work hard to attain them.

My message for parents might seem counter-intuitive.
It is the parents’ very important role to protect their children at all costs.  So, to suggest that parents consider letting their children struggle a little, doesn’t seem to make much sense.  However, think about this.  When children who have been protected all their lives come face to face with difficulty, challenge, or hardship, they will be ill-equipped to deal with hard situations, and less likely to see their way through them.

Adversity is a natural occurrence in life, and if children have not been afforded opportunities to build resiliency through working hard to accomplish something, we’re doing them a disservice. 
In order for children to become more independent, build solid work ethics, and be able to work toward goals they set, they need to experience what it’s like to hit some roadblocks, manage them, and move forward.  I certainly don’t want to undermine the role of the parent, but again, if children have a healthy balance of support along with the chance to struggle a bit in their lives, they will be better equipped to protect themselves in the long run.

Student Stories

  • Hearing the GRIT in Student Conversations
    During the goal-setting and practice part of the curriculum, students are asked to watch an amazing snowboarding video about a young Slovenian Olympic hopeful.  As Tim Kevin Ravnjak literally flies off a jump and all we can see is him and sky, one boy in class said, “I’ll neh-ver be able to do tha-at.”  Quickly, the girl next to him poked him and said, “That’s pessimistic thinking.  You can’t do that now.  But if you want to someday, and you practice….” That’s when I knew we were getting somewhere with the curriculum!

    Posted Apr 13, 2014, 5:03 AM by Samantha Cleveland
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What Parents Are Saying

  • Thankful for Grit Curriculum!
     "I am thrilled that grit is being taught in the classroom!!  I firmly believe that grit is as important as learning to read, write and understand mathematical concepts.  Without it, all the abilities gained through learning are all too easily stifled by a world filled with adversity.

      Whether this adversity is a "dirty look" in the lunchroom, not doing well on an assignment, not making it to finals a spelling bee; or as these kids grow, not getting an internship, a scholarship, or not getting into the college of their choosing, any of these things - and they can be there unexpectedly at any turn in life - can leave you feeling pretty beat up.
        A grit curriculum provides these kids, at a young age, with the
    tools they need, they deserve, to understand that they have the
    ability to choose how they look at these thing that happen in life.
      Choosing how to think about life's
    obstacles changes the way in which these things are processed and therefore how they are responded to, giving these kids the ability to avoid being derailed from their intentions and goals.  Being told to
    "turn that frown upside down" or be optimistic is not enough.  They need to know HOW to do that, and often, even parents don't know how.  It's huge.  If we want our children to be the people who can pick themselves up and keep going when life knocks them down, we need to give them the tools to do it. 
        I love the grit curriculum!  Thank you, Amy Lyon, for bringing the conversation into the schools!"
    - Samantha Cleveland
    North Sutton, New Hampshire

    Posted Apr 13, 2014, 6:11 AM by Samantha Cleveland
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