People with grit finish what they start, overcome obstacles, and achieve their goals.
Angela Duckworth, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, brought this stick-to-it quality to the attention of educators and the public with her 2013 book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance. She uses a simple three-step rule in her own family that gives her children practice setting a goal and working hard to achieve it. Essentially, they’re learning grit by doing — while also learning to see the value in working hard at something over time.

Here’s how to teach your children grit by implementing a “hard thing rule

  1. Everyone is included

    Everybody, including mom and dad, has to do a hard thing. Your “hard thing” must be something that requires practice, so that you can get better gradually over time.

  2. No quitting!

    You have to finish what you begin. If you start playing a sport or taking a music class, you have to finish that season or semester without quitting. (And then, once you have finished what you committed to, you can choose another hard thing.)

  3. It’s the child’s choice

    It’s important that your children (and you!) get to choose your hard thing. Feel free to make suggestions, but nobody gets to choose your hard thing for you. This is important for helping kids feel autonomous. They have to practice, and they can’t quit, but they are in charge of choosing what that hard thing is.

Want more?
It worked: from cartwheels to college — a lesson in perseverance
Can a teen have too much grit?