How to Raise Your Child with Grit: Book Review Grit by Angela Duckworth


I used to read books on business and self improvement to be inspired to be my best self. Motherhood, has paradoxically stolen my reading time while giving me a deeper reason to read my way into better habits for myself and my kids. Now, instead of sitting down to read a book, I listen to a book on Audible while I am doing my The Miracle Morning routine. Recently, I finished Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth, a book that delves into what it takes to succeed with or without talent.

Duckworth, a metered tiger mom after my own heart, spent her career studying what gives people that stick through it attitude that is a prerequisite to success. Here is a quick summary of her findings:

  • A component of persevering is appreciating the journey as much as the destination while accepting no destination may be final. 
  • Believing that talent is the ultimate factor in success undermines the actual cause of success: Effort.
  • Talent, Skill and Achievement are totally different things. Talent is a predisposition to be good at something which determines how quickly a skill can be improved based on effort. Skills are used to pursue achievements. 
  • Often, people who have talent and lean too heavily on the perception that they have a head start to their success fail to put in the effort to improve their skills and never achieve as much as those who never believed they were talented in the same arena to begin with. 
  • Gritty people are more prone to put in the effort everyday towards their goals and as a result achieve success. 
  • Strivers are those who take their natural abilities along with extraordinary effort and consistent perseverance to achieve uncommonly amazing results. 
  • As important as grit is to success, goal setting is also a significant factor in achievement. 
  • In the hierarchy of top level, mid level and low level goals, most of the mid level and low level goals should move towards the top level goal, better known as a purpose. 
  • Failure to be gritty towards goals usually points to a misalignment or less coherent goals. 
  • People become grittier as they get older as a result of maturity. Thus a less gritty young adult can grow into a very gritty older adult. 
  • The four elements of grit are interest, practice, purpose and hope. 

While all of that is interesting, how do we raise children with grit?
  1. Parents must provide guidelines and standards for children to live up to while providing a supportive and nurturing environment. 
  2. The authority in a parent relationship must not come from a need to exert power. The parent's authority must come from knowledge and wisdom and a clear understanding from the child that the parent is working in their best interest. 
  3. High standards and grittiness must be instilled in children through role modeling. Children learn through imitation and emulation. Pursuing personal long term life goals for children to witness is a major component of parenting for grit. 
  4. Extracurricular activities help children perform better in every arena of life because they require the practice of grit, especially when done for more than one year. 
  5. One Hard Thing. One of the more interesting parts of this book was how Duckworth instills grit in her own family. It's something that we are going to implement in our family as it is the perfect practical method of imparting grit starting from a young age. 

Here's how to implement One Hard Thing:
  • Everyone in the family has to pick one hard thing. For me, that might be exercise. For BB, that might be memorization of letters and words. 
  • The one hard thing will require deliberate daily practice. 
  • You can quit the one hard thing but only after committing to it until a natural end, such as the end of a season for sports or the end of a year of classes. 
  • At high school age or older, the commitment must be at least 2 years. 

Overall, this book is a compelling read laced with stories of famously successful people and how grit was cultured and impacted their lives. The Audible version is very good also as Duckworth does her own narration and unlike some books in this genre, does not require any diagrams or pictures for reference.

Swell Mommy Book Score
Enjoyable: 4/5
Inspiring: 4/5
Parenting: 4/5
Audible: 4/5
Final Score: 16/20. Recommended read for success driven parents or self improvement.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a commission on the sale. I promise I will never recommend or link to a product that I don't believe will bring you value as a member of the Swell Mommy community. 

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