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What is grit? And what does it mean to bring up a child with grit, who stays optimistic even when things are not sailing all that smoothly?
The term ‘Grit’ has been newly defined by Angela Lee Duckworth, an American academic, psychologist and popular science author as “perseverance and passion for long-term goals.” She conducted a study on what makes people succeed or fail. Her conclusion was that the strongest cause determining one’s success is grit. She says that grit is the strongest influence that makes a person successful, rather than the traditionally perceived ones like family income and background, being born clever, hard work, or scoring high in examinations.
Watch her on TED talks here:
As the talk says, Grit is the one major attribute that makes it possible for us to achieve our goals. Moreover, Grit impacts not only academic or professional goal achievement but is also important for personal fulfilment. You need to be gritty to achieve any difficult task: from running a marathon to perfecting the cheese cake recipe! Some social scientists think that grit is the biggest predictor of a happy and productive life.
Grit is not exactly a new concept. We all know the importance of practice, discipline and hard work. Albert Einstein had said, “ Genius is 1% talent and 99% hard work”. All this talk of grit and I started to think about parenting styles (again). I realise that I want to bring up my child not in a cushioned up environment but in a setup where my child may sometimes get disheartened but never at the expense of optimism.
So, one day I saw my 5 year old’s school work and he had written 29 horrible cursive j(s) and 1 respectable one. I was horrified for we had practised the letter at home. My son informed me that no matter how hard he tried, he could not write the cursive j and so there was no point in trying. Somehow I reminded myself about remaining positive and complemented him on that one respectable letter. The boy was thrilled and thanked me for noticing and then we went on to practice the letter and trying to perfect it. It took us about 10 to 15 peaceful minutes to get the hang of it. (I have strong feelings on teaching children cursive in today’s era, but that topic is for another day).
I realised that 15 minutes before, my son sat deflated, slouching with a grim expression knowing that his mother would be disillusioned with the work in the notebook and somehow I managed to turn that moment around. (This is not a normal occurrence and I stood enlightened or at least somewhat enlightened). So, now the enlightened me has decided to applaud him more for trying, and for effort in all activities and not just for achieving the goal and maybe that will bring up the grit quotient!
First published here.
Image via Pexels
I am currently a stay at home mom trying to raise a dare devil of a toddler. I have over 10 year experience in the banking and insurance sector and have worked in organisations like read more...
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As he stood in front of his door, Nishant prayed that his wife would be in a better mood. The baby thing was tearing them apart. When was the last time he had seen his wife smile?
Veena got into the lift. It was a festival day, and the space was crammed with little children dressed in bright yellow clothes, wearing fancy peacock feather crowns, and carrying flutes. Janmashtami gave her the jitters. She kept her face down, refusing to socialize with anyone.
They had moved to this new apartment three months ago. The whole point of shifting had been to get away from the ruthless questioning by ‘well-wishers’.
“You have been married for ten years! Why no child yet?”
I huffed, puffed and panted up the hill, taking many rest breaks along the way. My calf muscles pained, my heart protested, and my breathing became heavy at one stage.
“Let’s turn back,” my husband remarked. We stood at the foot of Shravanbelagola – one of the most revered Jain pilgrimage centres. “We will not climb the hill,” he continued.
My husband and I were vacationing in Karnataka. It was the month of May, and even at the early hour of 8 am in the morning, the sun scorched our backs. After visiting Bangalore and Mysore, we had made a planned stop at this holy site in the Southern part of the state en route to Hosur. Even while planning our vacation, my husband was very excited at the prospect of visiting this place and the 18 m high statue of Lord Gometeshwara, considered one of the world’s tallest free-standing monolithic statues.
What we hadn’t bargained for was there would be 1001 granite steps that needed to be climbed to have a close-up view of this colossal magic three thousand feet above sea level on a hilltop. It would be an understatement to term it as an arduous climb.
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