(5th Post on GRIT)
Dr. Duckworth provides two examples of effective GRIT parenting. One example is of authoritarian parents. The other example is 180 degrees opposite to authoritarian parenting. She shows how both parenting styles can foster GRIT. Key to both styles of parenting is that the parents are believing and supportive. Absent loving and supportive parents, all bets are off.
Regarding perseverance and passion, perseverance is the easier of the two to develop. Parents should not let children quit. There should always be an agreed upon period that the child will stick at the activity. And this can be done in both authoritarian and open parenting styles. However, the open parenting style cannot be so open that the child can quit at any time.
The more difficult component is passion. Passion cannot be forced, it must be found. So the child should be encouraged to look for potential interests. And when a candidate interest is found, some requirement for perseverance should be established. It is quite possible that no passion will be found. There will a healthy memory post lamenting the fact that few people seem to have genuine passions besides perhaps their families. But that might be good enough.
Although Dr. Duckworth does not specifically make this point, HM feels compelled to make the point. A failure to induce some level of passion or some level of interest in a topic or skill, increases the risk that the child will fall prey to substance abuse. They will be bored, fall in with some other bored friends, and self-medicate. This is disastrous. Although parents are typically concerned about the friends of their child, they should also be concerned if the child has no passion or serious interests. This void motivates them to seek out others like themselves, which can lead to substance abuse. However, should there be a passion or interest that the child’ is pursuing, then the child is likely to have friends with the same interests or passion.
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