Friday, May 6, 2016

Help Your Kid Get More Grit

Today’s fantastic family finance article is:

Grit Equation

“I want my kid to have grit.”

Agree? Probably.

Success and grit seem to go hand in hand. And success often means financial security, among other good things.

But what is grit?

“Passion and perseverance for especially long-term goals,” says professor of psychology, Angela Duckworth who has written a book on grit.

If your kid lacks grit, can it be developed? Yes.

In researching the grit of people with deep success in a field or endeavor, Angela found it’s forged from four key elements:

  1. Interest — Sustained interest, often referred to as passion. But humans naturally get bored. They crave novelty. Gritty people “learn to substitute nuance for novelty” in their chosen area. They maintain interest by appreciating the endless subtleties.
  2. Practice — Not just rote practice. Deliberate practice. Tons of it. Like 10,000 hours as Malcolm Gladwell famously wrote in the book Outliers.
  3. Purpose — Connecting your endeavor to people or things or ideas that are beyond yourself.
  4. Hope — The unwavering belief that you can overcome the inevitable obstacles and setbacks.

Beware skipping element number one.

Forcing 10,000 hours of deliberate practice in the absence of interest is a recipe for disaster.

That said, it will take consistent prodding to get your kid to try out different interests and to appreciate nuance as novelty.

That’s called parenting grit.

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