How to Raise Kids With Grit: Parenting Tips to Follow

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Grit" by Angela Duckworth. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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How can you raise kids with grit? Is there parenting advice you can follow to make sure you have gritty kids?

Since grit is a great predictor of success, many parents wonder how to raise kids with grit. There are some guidelines and parenting styles you can follow to parent with grit.

Keep reading to find out how to raise kids with grit.

Raising Kids With Grit: The Right Environment

We’ve talked about developing grit internally. You can increase interest and purpose, and build in better deliberate practice helps develop grit in children.

But grit is developed over a long period of time and is affected by the environment you’re in. Grit depends on what kind of feedback you get and what opportunities you’re exposed to.

The last part of the Grit book discusses our environments – childhood, grit parenting, and organization. Here’s how you raise kids with grit.

Teaching Style and Grit

Similar statements apply to teachers and how they manage their classrooms:

Demanding (produces better academic results):

  • My teacher insists on our best effort at all times.
  • Students in my class behave how my teacher wants them to.

Supportive (improves student happiness):

  • My teacher knows if something is bothering me and asks about it.
  • My teacher invites us to share our thoughts.

In an interesting experiment, graded student essays were sorted into two piles. The experimental group had a note that read: “I’m giving you these comments because I have every high expectations and I know that you can reach them.” The control read, “I’m giving you these comments so that you’ll have feedback on your paper.” Students were then given the option of revising their essays. 80% of the students with the wise feedback turned in a revised paper, compared to 40% in the control group.

Parents Need to Model Grit

You can achieve grit parenting. Supportive and demanding parenting may more likely lead to grit, this but requires that parents model grit for their children. Not all children under wise parenting will grow up gritty, and not all gritty parents will practice wise parenting.

Therefore, in her family, Duckworth applies the Hard Thing Rule:

  1. Everyone in the family has to do a hard thing. A hard thing requires daily deliberate practice (such as getting better at your job, yoga, violin).
  2. You can’t quit until a natural stopping point. Examples: tuition payment is up, season is over. You can’t quit just because you had a bad day.
  3. You get to pick your own hard thing. This develops interest.
  4. (In high school) Each child must commit to an activity for at least two years. 

These tactics can promote grit in children.

Quote

“You can quit. . . . But you can’t come home because I’m not going to live with a quitter. You’ve known that since you were a kid. You’re not coming back here.” – Steve Young’s father, when Steve wanted to quit college football.

How to Raise Kids With Grit: Parenting Tips to Follow

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Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best book summary and analysis of Angela Duckworth's "Grit" at Shortform.

Here's what you'll find in our full Grit summary:

  • How your grit can predict your success
  • The 4 components that make up grit
  • Why focusing on talent means you overlook true potential

Carrie Cabral

Carrie has been reading and writing for as long as she can remember, and has always been open to reading anything put in front of her. She wrote her first short story at the age of six, about a lost dog who meets animal friends on his journey home. Surprisingly, it was never picked up by any major publishers, but did spark her passion for books. Carrie worked in book publishing for several years before getting an MFA in Creative Writing. She especially loves literary fiction, historical fiction, and social, cultural, and historical nonfiction that gets into the weeds of daily life.

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