Get “Gritty”

A big theme that we would like to establish at Rosarian Academy is working with our children to foster resilience (AKA “grit”).  There has been a lot written about this in educational circles, in particular how to instill work ethic, motivation and “growth mindset” (Carol Dweck) in our children as well as how to equip them to manage and learn from setbacks or challenges.  We understand that no one wants to see his/_her child fail at anything and recall the many times that we, as parents, provide timely reassurance and encouragement when challenges may occur.  Whether it’s a failed assignment in class, not making a team, or forgetting to bring in a necessary assignment, our instinct is often to support our children by getting that tutor, talking to that coach on their behalf or bringing them those forgotten assignments that they may have left behind.  While this is well-intentioned, it is important to remember that setbacks or failures are part of life and are opportunities for learning when they occur.  More importantly, learning to be more selective with your encouragement can be a big factor in our work with children.  It is far better to offer praise for something your child struggles with and ultimately succeeded in than offering it for something that you know they do well already. For example, last year I witnessed one of our coaches congratulate the team on a fine effort.  In that acknowledgement, I noticed that he did not shake the hands of a few students who were not bringing their best effort to the activity.  When asked why he didn’t shake their hands, he responded, “Doesn’t that devalue the handshake I give to the kids who tried so hard??.”  To that response, I paused and was quickly reminded about the importance of good modeling and the powerful impact that adults can have every day in their work with your children.