A 2012 Brigham Young University study looked at 325 families over a period of 4 years. The study found that fathers who practice “authoritative parenting” by granting kids autonomy, emphasizing accountability and explaining the reasons behind rules and children feeling love from their father, had kids who were more likely to see tasks through to completion and achieved better grades.

All parents who hope to instill GRIT in their children take note. (Ref: Teens and Transition: A Parent Guide, pg. 18, “Parent Types”)

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Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth is a clear, informative and entertaining review of the latest research on GRIT and how it can be developed. Research for the book took many years. Suggestions are made on how to develop grit and support grit in others. The author argues that effort is as important as talent and that it is just as vital to cultivate other strengths (e.g. humility, social intelligence and kindness) for success in life.

Anyone can learn to be gritty. Duckworth offers a four-step program and comments that having a great coach or teacher matters greatly. Duckworth’s TED talk has been viewed 8 million times so far… Try the Grit Scale.

How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity and the Hidden Power of Character by Paul Tough outlines character traits key to success. Grit, curiosity, self-control, social intelligence, zest, optimism and gratitude are examples. Kids can develop a set of strengths over time by not only accepting failure but also by embracing it.

Parents play a powerful role in nurturing the character traits that foster success. The book illustrates the extremes of American childhood: for rich kids a safety net drawn so tight it’s a harness; for poor kids almost nothing to break their fall.