More than resilience: Why little ones need grit to achieve their desires

Posted in Learning and Development.

There are all kinds of traits we want our children to have as they grow, such as kindness, compassion and curiosity. But what about grit? Grit is a crucial component of resilience and will help our little ones to navigate life and achieve their desires.

Nate Cooke, coach and owner of grit boxx shares his tips on how to help your child be a ‘gritty kid’.

Listen to Nate Cooke on Feed Play Love:

What is grit?

According to Nate, grit is a mindset.

“I think grit is a is a headspace,” he says, going on to describe it as resilience that’s “edgy” and how it’s easy to spot a ‘gritty kid’.

“There’s something about that kid that kind of keeps them moving, keeps them going, engaged.”

That something is their mindset. They know what they want and where they’re going.

Child playing with stick

“Gritty kids attract gritty kids”

Nate reveals that kids who possess this mental strength trait attract other ‘gritty kids’, as he calls them. 

“It allows kids to have the ability to be able to leverage off someone else’s strength. So a kid who kind of appears strong, looks strong, will generally attract other kids because [they] feel protected around that.”

It’s a safety net thing.

Understanding goals and desires 

While Nate believes grit comes naturally to some kids but not necessarily others, he says it can be taught to help children achieve their desires and goals.

“A desire is something that starts from inside. There’s a deep desire to want something to achieve something,” says Nate.

“A goal is something that is set up for yourself, like ‘I would like to climb to the top of that ladder'”

“I feel desires are kind of deeply rooted inside that you really, really, really, really want something and grit is required for both. But I think it starts with desires.”

So how do we teach grit? Nate says it’s about identifying your child’s desires and encouraging them to achieve these through goals. 

Grit keeps us going

To help our kids achieve what they want to now and later in life, Nate says we should seek to find out what this could be by asking them questions.

Once we have determined what it is they want/desire, Nate says it’s time to set goals to help them on their way.

So for example, if your child has a desire to read on his own, then doing a reader every night is taking steps to achieve it. But readers are dull (for parents as well as kids!).

And this is where grit comes into play. That strength to keep going. But as Nate adds, it’s important that kids are engaged and interested, as well as determined when on the journey to achieving their goals and desires.

“Readers are grinding work … I would then top and tail that with other books, other interesting reading, other kinds of topics that you know your child is interested in and use that as a kind of parallel line.”

It sounds like passion is also a key component of grit.


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