Grit Can Be A Family Affair

Want to improve your family's grit?


Recently, I’ve been studying Moses, the Old Testament leader and deliverer of Israel, and his development into a leader with true grit. I’ve been struck by the abundance of grit in Moses’ mother and father and sister that apparently was passed on to Moses (you can read about it here).

This in turn sparked my interest in the way that families play a role in passing along grit to their children. In her book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, Angela Duckworth writes extensively on parenting for grit. She describes a rule in her family called the Hard Thing Rule, which has three parts. For the first part, each family member, including Angela and her husband, must do a hard thing. For Angela, her hard things are psychological research and practicing yoga. For her oldest daughter, it’s playing the piano. The second part of the Hard Thing Rule is that you cannot quit until the season or the interval to which you’ve committed is over. And you definitely can’t quit on a bad day. The last part of the Rule is that each family member picks their own hard thing. Duckworth says, “For parents who would like to encourage grit without obliterating their children’s capacity to choose their own path, I recommend the Hard Thing Rule."

Whether or not you choose to adapt this rule to your family, its principles can help each of us improve our own grittiness and those we influence.