The parent child relationship has changed immenselyfrom the times when we were kids to our parental days. This is in-fact naturally in sync with the fact that the world is changing very moment. The reason for shift in the parent child relationship is due to the sociological changes around us, the psychological changes in the social behaviors.
With this change one thing that has changed majorly is the development of grittiness in the kids. Somehow the way our parents handled our emotions and needs made us grittier than the way the current generation children are growing up. We all will agree that life has multiple facets, and the good IQ and academic excellence can help us to score well in life, however the challenges that life throws does not all fall in the domain of academic excellence. There are times that test our perseverance, patience and hopefulness. The kind of dynamics that has been built by the combination of nuclear families, more spending power but lesser time, working parents, overindulgence in virtual modes of entertainment; has led to a major psychological as well physiological change in behavior of kids these days. We are bringing up children who have very less or no capacity to handle disappointment and accept a “NO” as an answer to their demands. In trying to pass the parameters set by the various metering standards for good parents; we tend to make the life of our kids too smooth. We present ourselves as their angels before they even express their needs. This cripples them when they must face the difficult situations and make decisions for themselves.
Grit is an important attribute we should build in our children to make them strong enough to face challenge and stick to the struggle till the end. There are numerous changes we can bring in our parenting to allow the children exposure to limits and struggle that they may encounter in their lives. Other than the changes to our parenting methods; onething that can help to grow the grittiness in children is having them participate in one extra-curricular activity of their interest as soon as they are old enough.
Extra-curriculars help the children in many ways
• Structured set up of the extra curriculars help children to inculcate discipline. The environment of these classes where there is supervision on the act of the child and also there are set targets makes the overall project a target oriented time investment.
• As the extra-curricular is of their interest, the hardships around it are enjoyed and hence the children learn to enjoy the struggle. This helps in building their perseverance and patience.
• Keep the involvement in an activity for a period of at-least 2 years and do not allow to discontinue when things become tougher; longer practice sessions or demanding targets.
• Dropping out when the things are tougher sets a negative notion and children somewhere register this as their defeat or easy route to escape. Both should be avoided.
• Practicing a skill from scratch to mastery level; teaches the progression of refinement. This experience inculcates the belief that practice can only master an act and there is no short cut.
• Children experience the maze of failure and success through their own struggle in these classes. This helps them to see that it is their own efforts that will take them through. Parental support can only enroll them but later it is their own efforts that bear the fruits.
So let us enrol our children in activities that interest them and provide them playing fields for grit which helps them to pursue their passion with more persevered dedication and clarity.
Reading Reference: Grit by Angela Duckworth