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.
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.