Parents and teachers alike have been on a never-ending search for what it is that will make their children and students successful. The problem is, pinpointing that characteristic has been much harder than one would think.
Most would assume that the student with the greatest level of intelligence comes out ahead of the "middle of the road" student almost every time. The truth is that student intelligence is a poor predictor of performance and overall future success. Your brightest child may not perform particularly well, meanwhile the average child may grind through every project or assessment until they have once again found themselves near the top of the class. What is it that creates this dynamic? Grit.
Grit may be synonymous with perseverance in regards to definition, but it holds greater meaning because of the feeling it inspires; hard-work, pushing through challenges, learning from failure, blue-collar work ethic, and toughness. It is this singular characteristic that consistently determines which children (and adults) will be successful. Children need to push through difficult scenarios and gain the understanding that the greatest learning comes out of the greatest challenges.
Reframing failure for children is key in this process. Actively creating a new idea of failure as opportunity may not be easy, but it sets the foundation for the development of grit from a very early age. Not sure where to start? Attempt to build a Rube Goldberg machine with your students or children. Failures will only lead to success … if you’re gritty.
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