In art class this week our students learned about architecture! They were excited to build and couldn’t wait to get started. As the students began, a few realized that their first attempts didn’t work. A few pieces fell, another piece or two started sliding and other structures toppled over. The comments ranged from “I can’t do this!” to “I’m done” to “Can you do this for me?”
What a great opportunity to teach about grit and perseverance!
We all get frustrated, even as adults, but going back to the project or whatever we are working on and and making it right, is what “grit” is all about.
Giving children opportunities to develop grit and perseverance needs to be moved to the top of our to-do lists. How can we do this? Let’s start with creating time. We all know how precious time is but creating anything, from a work of art to a term paper to math homework, takes time. Making sure you have enough time allows for “re-dos” and that’s where the learning takes place. Learning a new sport also gives kids opportunities to practice, practice, practice – from skateboarding to riding bikes to learning how to pitch. Falling off a board (with helmet and pads of course) or striking out is part of how we learn to push through and succeed. I can guarantee you that with practice, your child will learn how to ride a skate board, throw strikes, or draw a flower.
As Thomas Edison said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” What a poignant quote to think of today. As art class ended, I heard “I did it!” over and over again. I think Thomas Edison would be proud.
Allow your kids to develop their “grit” muscle. Helping them less will seem tough at first, but they will figure out most things. Perseverance will become one of the most important parts of their character as they continue to develop a strong sense of self.
See you in art class!