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2014 Buzz Guide: Development

Grit Is The New Squash

grit

Grit isn't exactly a newly celebrated concept, but according to Aliza Pressman, Ph.D., co-founder of Seedlings Group, it will continue to be a hot topic in child development conversations this year.

"Right now researchers are trying to learn about teaching kids to have grit and self-control. More and more research suggests that these particular traits are incredibly predictive of success in life. Grit is the tendency to stay interested in, and persevere to achieve, long-term goals. Self-control is the voluntary regulation of impulses (whether behavioral, emotional, or attentional), despite the presence of temptation or the distraction of instant gratification that might divert someone from longer-term goal-oriented activities. Grit equips kids (and adults!) to pursue challenging goals over years, and even decades. Self-control, in contrast, functions in real time to keep us from being distracted by diversions that hold us back from attaining our greater goals. We know grit and self-control are critical to life success, and now the research is focused on how to teach these traits. To learn more, check out Angela Lee Duckworth's TED talk, How Children Succeed by Paul Tough, and Carol Dweck's Mindset.