Why Should We Teach Kids About Grit?

What is all the buzz around the word grit? And why should we teach children about it?

By Momentous Institute | May 04, 2015

Grit is determination, tenacity, resolve, and sticking with something even when it is hard. The leading expert on grit is Dr. Angela Duckworth. In her TED talk, she says:
“Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years…and working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”
Dr. Duckworth’s research shows that grit is positively linked to success. In her research, she found that grittier kids were more likely to graduate. Grittier adults were more likely to stay in college, persevere in difficult jobs such as inner-city teaching, or advance and ultimately earn more money in their careers.
Why should we teach children about grit? We are all faced with long-term goals. Some are exciting and fun, and others are less fun but absolutely necessary. We must teach our children that they can’t walk away as soon as college gets tough, or write off math entirely as soon as they get frustrated with fractions. Life is difficult for the 20-something year old who is just learning how to problem-solve or recover from failure. The younger kids learn these lessons, the better they will be prepared for real life. In the real world, we all experience difficulty and failure. It is unrealistic to try to protect children from this. We cannot prepare the path for the child. Instead, we must prepare the child for the path.
To learn more about grit, watch Dr. Duckworth’s TED talk.