NDSU Extension - Morton County


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June 3, 2019 "Grit" In Our Kids

Liz Larson, Parent and Family Resource Center

Dates to Remember:

June 11               Consumer Decision Making, Mandan
June 13               Start of 1-2-3 Magic parenting program series, Mandan
July 18                 Parents Forever, Mandan

  “Grit” in our Kids

Picture the person you might think of as stubborn, obstinate, uncompromising, or hard-headed. Do you have someone in mind? Now think about a person who you would call determined, strong-minded, gritty, persistent or persevering. What about now? Do you have someone in mind? The first set of words has more of a negative connotation. The second set of words is more positive, but both sets could refer to the same person.

When your middle school student adamantly refuses to take their turn at bat during the family reunion softball game and leaves the field, you see the stubborn, obstinate side of your child. When the same child sits in their room practicing their violin every night for months on end until you think you are listening to a professional recording, we say that child has determination or persistence, even grit.

Persistence, or grit as many are calling it, has been getting a lot of attention recently. No matter the term, we really are talking about working hard and sticking with it to reach a goal. Researchers are referring to people who have the willingness to set a goal and work during a long period of time to achieve that goal. They are also discovering that practice, practice and more practices is, indeed, what eventually sets these gritty people apart from others. Natural talent is being looked at with a skeptical eye, while hard work are taking the driver’s seat.

According to psychologist Angela Lee Duckworth, one way to help our children develop grit is to introduce them to a growth mindset so they see that “failure is not a permanent condition” and the children are encouraged to have a try, try again attitude. To find more information on mindsets, grit and developing persistence in your child, look up the helpful resources listed here:

Kent Pekel, Search Institute:   http://www.achievempls.org/get-involved/attend-event/edtalks/edtalks-video-kent-pekel-perseverance-process

Carol S. Dweck   http://www.educationworld.com/a_issues/chat/chat010.shtml


For more information and resources in the area of children, family and finances visit our NDSU Extension website at http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/extension/children_families_finances

For information on the Parent and Family Resource Center, our upcoming programs, or to receive the Parenting Tips & Times newsletter – contact Liz Larson at 701-667-3342 or email Liz.Larson@ndsu.edu 

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