The first week back at school is always exhausting for parents and children. There are new teachers to be met, new routines, the brain needs to click into a different gear and everyone has to be out the house early in the morning!
Thus, it was no surprise when my 8 year old had a major melt done last night. It was that extra 30 minutes in the pool that tipped him over! After the tears were shed that mercifully produce the endorphines that help the body feel better we had a conversation that was so interesting and exciting for me. I came out the room and informed my husband – “this positive psych stuff really works”!
Thursday I was listening to a great TED talk by Angela Duckworth on grit. (If you have time take a listen, it is 6 minutes long.) I have written about grit on a number of occasions as researchers are finding out that it is a big indicator of success. Unfortunately little is know about teaching grit, but they do know that young children can be taught practical things about how their brain works and this helps. At times I share with my own kids what I am reading and how it plays out in life trying to help them make links in their brains.
My 8 year old, after his meltdown mentioned that he wanted to change. He didn’t want to feel frustrated and upset at bed time anymore. It had just happened that I had recorded what I thought was a great quote to be retrieved when needed and here was the moment –
“transformed – not in Hollywood ways that we sometimes expect,
but quietly and slowly as most change occurs” Jeff Goins
The 8 year old nodded in understanding, but it didn’t stop there.
“Mum it is like that story you told us about the English cycling team where they decided to change everything by 1%. They changed small things like the food they ate, bits of their bikes and then it worked, they had success.”
I was stunned. That story had been told weeks ago by James Clear on his blog, but somehow the links were being made in this little boy.
So, what a great encouragement for me and you.
Let’s tell our classes, our own kids about interesting brain facts.
Let’s tell them that change is often slow but that is ok.
Let’s tell them that along the way we will need grit and that grit is worth ‘gritting’ for.
Let’s tell them that failure is not permanent and we keep going.
And, let’s tell stories that have meaning. Stories are so powerful!