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Intelligence, sporting prowess and ability in whatever it is we value will only get a child or young person so far. Talent is purely potential. They need more than this to achieve sustained excellence in anything they do. It is the character traits of hard work combined with their ability to stick at a task and see it through that makes all the difference.

Best Book Summary + PDF: Grit, by Angela Duckworth | Allen Cheng

Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers, described twenty-something American student Renee, who took 22 minutes to work out a complicated math question. The average student gives up after THREE minutes, preferring to ask for help than work through a problem. Renee is unusual as she persisted for 22 minutes until she got the solution. But she is highly successful at Math.

What Is Grit? – Kids With Grit – Part 1

Grit rather than pure math talent is her forte. These traits include the inclination to persist at a boring task grit ; the ability to delay gratification self-control and the tendency to follow through with a plan conscientiousness , which are invaluable traits at school, in the workplace and in life in general. The key character traits of grit, self-control and conscientiousness are forged under hardship and duress.

When kids continually experience easy success we set them up for failure because when they finally face up to difficult situations many lack the capacity to push through the tough times. Encouraging kids to step out of their comfort zones and take learning and social risks is one of the great challenges for modern parents.

How To Stop Yelling At Your Kids

Overcoming setbacks and pushing through difficulties are how character is formed. The good news is that character, like intelligence, is malleable.

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In my book Thriving! Focus on character in conversations.

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They can share experiences where character paid off for them in their lives. Discuss how character contributes to excellence and success in every day live including at work, at school and in the sporting field. Character and its many components can become part of the family narrative regardless on the age of children.

Habit and character go hand in hand. They can sometimes place full focus on menial or unimportant tasks when a smarter option may be to cruise and save energy for the important times such as exams.

Angela L. Duckworth: Will Power: Grit, Self-control, and Achievement (Family Action Network)

In fact, it will be the only option when excellence really matters. Want to find out more about developing grit and other character traits in your kids? Duckworth said. Parents know that everyone feels that way.

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance [Book Review]

Duckworth is quick to note that her book is not a parenting manual. Instilling grit in your child requires a combination of being demanding and supportive, said Dr. Talk about the challenges you face now, or have faced in the past, and how you persisted. And never discount the importance of fun.

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Interested in more Well Family? Sign up to get the latest news on parenting, child health and relationships with advice from our experts to help every family live well. See next articles. Correction: April 29, An earlier version of this article misstated Angela Duckworth's position at the University of Pennsylvania.

She is a professor of psychology, not an assistant professor.