Ms. Leven's monthly newsletter
What Does Character Lab Say About Zest?
Studies show that kids who demonstrate grit persist at hard tasks and outperform their competitors. Grit is a critical strength of most people who are successful. It is especially complex because it is related to other skills and mindsets such as optimism, purpose, growth mindset, bravery, and even self-control.
There are a lot of misconceptions about grit. Grit is much more than just encouraging kids to “try harder” or not give up—it’s also about helping kids find their passion. Having grit does not mean never quitting—it means quitting responsibly (and not just because times get tough) and sticking to the things to which you are truly dedicated.
Books to Read
- Flight School, by Lita Judge
- The Most Magnificent Thing, By Ashley Spires
- Wilma Unlimited, by Kathleen Krull
- Sally Jean, the Bicyle Queen, by Carl Best
- Stuck, by Oliver Jefferies
- Little One Step, by Simon James
- Thank You Mr. Falker, by Patricia Polacco
- Reflect with your child on his/her past achievements. Were they easy? Did they take hard work? what did you do when you got 'stuck'?
- Highlight those who show grit! Point out famous role models who stuck with their trade and showed grit even when things got tough.
- Encourage deliberate practice. If your child has committed to an activity, help them establish a routine to ensure they are practicing diligently. This applies to school work too!
- Model grit by thinking out loud. If you are helping them on homework and you get confused, think out loud and them them see how you work through the challenge!
- Help students quit responsibly. If your child does feel the need to quit an activity, work them to determine the responsible time to quit - after they have reflected on the decision.