Angela Duckworth explains how our level of grit or perseverance can change over time and how you can empower your children and whole family to increase their grit and perseverance. In order to help her family and children achieve this, Duckworth introduced The Hard Thing Rule.
This technique might not always be fun, but it’s an amazing way to improve your level of grit! And this is why it’s called the “Hard Thing”.
Building perseverance in children and in the family consists of the following three main steps:
1. Everyone should pick a hard thing to do (Mom and Dad too!)
The whole family should commit to doing something hard that requires practice, for example, playing the piano or learning a new language.
You need to pick something that requires deliberate practice. Deliberate practice is the kind of practice that requires focusing on stretching yourself and abilities out of your normal comfort zone. It usually focuses on the weakest areas that need improvement. It’s not always fun to do something hard, but it will help you increase your grit and perseverance.
2. You can stop, but only after a certain time period has passed (a natural break)
This is where it gets interesting. You can quit the activity you started, but only when your commitment ends. The idea behind this, is to help children and adults alike finish what they started and not quit just because things got difficult, or someone is being mean, or they’re just having a hard time.
3. You pick your own hard thing
What’s cool is that you get to pick your own hard thing. That gives you autonomy over being gritty, and hence you will have more interest and passion towards that activity! Of course, if you are forced to do something you hate, you would almost certainly end up wasting your time and resenting the whole activity!
As Angela’s kids get older, she is specifying the commitment needed of her children to before they can quit! These are long term commitments to make sure grit is improved. You’ll be amazed at see how resilient your kids can become!