Children displaying Grit/Resilience

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May 05 2017

Somebody mentioned to me the other day that a Mother had been to see, an expert we’ll call them, in a bid to help her daughter display more resilience. Her daughter has a fear of failure and doesn’t want to have a go as she doesn’t want to lose or fail . This person also mentioned to me that the Mother had been told to how she speaks to her daughter is important and that instead of saying “I’m really proud of you” she should instead try saying “you must be very proud of yourself ” .

I coach a lot of children (golf) and every week i see children showing high levels of resilience but then the same children the following week will show very low levels of resilience and not want to have a go.

Or they’re badgered into having a go by Parents/coaches who mean well, but the engagement in what they are playing is low.

Here’s my take;

Children are born with all the resilience and grit they need. It’s innate. It shows up in lots of different moments and these moments are when there’s less passing through their minds – Clarity.

Grit or resilience is a natural by-product of clarity. To say that we need to develop or get more resilience is a miss-understanding on how we as humans operate, and children are operating from the same system.

Somebody said to me the other day that ( back to golf here for a second) the shot or task the child is attempting needs to be at or just above their skill-set and it’s this that will govern their attitude, and i would agree in part but I’ve seen children in this scenario display no interest in attempting it even though the task is set just right, which is important.

Why didn’t they want to have a go? Because in that moment THEY didn’t want to play, forget the shot or whatever it is they are doing as it’s seperate from their attitude. In another moment their outlook will be different and they will see that same game differently. No need to say anything because really it’s not what we say it’s more to do with the space someone is operating from which is the driving force and it’s this space that changes all the time NATURALLY and by design.

Also some children aren’t ready to compete against other children yet. They’d be better off having the choice of competing against themselves and trying to beat their own personal best or competing against other children. I’ve given children this choice and have seen the same child chose a different option week to week.

To close, if we watch children we will see that irrespective of what they are doing they will show grit and resilience. After all they all learned to walk WHEN THEY WERE READY and showed grit/resilience to do this. The great news is it’s all there within our children. An understanding on how the human system works is what can be really helpful.


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