Those Gritty Kids

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My friend Facebooked a new picture of her 9-year-old daughter, Katie with a clarinet in her hand announcing that she was taking on a new challenge in the musical world. Along with her extracurricular activities in Tae-Kwon-Do, computer programming, robotics, and playing with her dog, this youngster has a constant smile on her face especially when challenged with something new to master.

I kidded my friend today about “forcing” her daughter to take on all these new projects and she laughed, as she would consider herself the last person to compel anyone to do something they do not want to do. The truth is that Katie has some serious grit.

We generally think of grit as perseverance and stick-to-itiveness but research done by Angela Duckworth at the University of Pennsylvania points out that while perseverance is an important quality of grit, of equal importance is the possession of passion.

Manifesting passion is not something that you can force anyone to do but instead comes from finding something of interest and then putting in the time and energy to build skills. For parents, that often means setting high expectations while providing high emotional support.

No doubt, Katie and her parents have uncovered a secret recipe for helping her become a budding renaissance girl.

© Richard Citrin, All rights reserved, 2016

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