Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The value of Grit and 'being Gritty'

I recently watched this fantastic TED talk on GRIT that is being shared across the internet. It is a video worthy of your time. 
Angela Lee Duckworth, a University of Pennsylvania Psychologist defines grit as the “perseverance and passion for long-term goals".  In a blog post by Jenny Williams, she states it "... is a better indicator of future earnings and happiness than either IQ or talent.” https://afineparent.com/building-character/what-is-grit.html )
Duckworth explains her research underscores the need for us all to be ‘gritty’ when helping our kids develop grit.
How can a parent help a child develop grit, you ask?
Duckworth acknowledges that she does not fully know. (Refreshing, right?) A child is unique. Learning is not ‘one size fits all’. We must all learn to learn. How successful you are as lifelong learner is determined by more than just a measurement of IQ or talent.
Learning is a lifelong function and needs a marathon mindset. Learning is not ‘done’ at the end of a grade, or when a project is turned in for a grade.  Learning is not a sprint. Learning is more than memorization and the ability to perform certain tasks and skills. Learning also includes the ability to wait, the ability to reset after failure, and to know that failure is not a permanent state.
Duckworth highlights a ‘growth mindset’, referencing a study from Stanford University, as an important concept to share with students. It actually empowers them to understand what happens to the brain when we learn. The growth mindset concept allows the student to adapt, to wait when needed, and to learn in the struggle. Learning to wait for an hour before playing a video game, waiting your turn in line, waiting to buy something with money saved over time is all part of the ‘growth mindset’ and will ensure a student’s ability to be gritty and thrive.
Duckworth challenges us all to be “more gritty”.

Creating a plan of action that guides our family through busy and demanding times also helps build grit.  It supports a marathon mindset and moves us away from constantly running around putting out fires.

Here is a powerful tool to help your family develop a ‘growth mindset’ and foster grit:  

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Doing This Will Help Your Family Thrive PLUS I Share an Inspiring Story!

"Take the long view: to think about the effects that something will have in the future instead of in the present. "              http://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/take-the-long-view
Identifying and embracing your family's long view (how your family wants to live EVEN when times are tough) helps you live out your values. Your family's long view helps inform your family how to respond and be proactive in all seasons of life. As parents, taking the long view is an important family philosophy AND life skill to cultivate.

Stephen Covey, author of international best seller, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, urges us to “be proactive” and to “begin with the end in mind”, (Habits One and Two) – which is key to taking the long view. Being proactive means you create and strive to live by a plan of action that you adjust as you move through your day, week, month and year. Beginning with the end in mind means you have an idea or a picture of where you want to go.  Otherwise, as Dr. David Campbell wisely covers in his book of the same title, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll probably end up somewhere else”.

I recently had the pleasure talking with Carol Graham, as a guest on her internationally famous podcast, Never Ever Give Up Hope.  In it, I shared some of the incredibly difficult season of our lives, where for my family, taking the long view was the way we made it through my son's life threatening accident and healing. We all had to keep the long view in mind as we navigated hospitals and the long road of various therapies and miraculous recovery . The blessing and good news is through recovery and some major adaptation, we continued to focus on the long view for our family and recently celebrated a significant milestone because of it.
Listen to me talk about our struggles and triumphs through my son’s near fatal car accident and recovery here:

Every family walks a different path, and every family can cultivate a long view to help them grow strong and be strong in all seasons of life.
That is my passion—to help families flourish as they take the long view.

Use this great tool to design and embrace a long view in your loved ones:


Friday, July 21, 2017

Fun Reading Ideas to Help Your Family Thrive

After the festivities of the 4th of July fizzle out, we have the long hot days of summer ahead of us. What is your survival plan?...And why just survive? Why not thrive….AND have FUN!
The one thing we all can do and it really does not cost any money at all is read. After all, the family that reads together, grows together.

I heard an author comment on his approach to reading in his family recently on the podcast “Think Out Loud” (OPB/ NPR). He recommends that you think of your kids’ reading in the summer like time at the amusement park. Letting them pick the ride correlates to letting them pick what they read in the summer.  When I think about it, it makes sense. If they pick the item/topic to read, they will read it. He keeps it simple by making sure they all read together twice a day. Around breakfast time—a luxury for him he acknowledges as he starts the day with the family due to his ‘hallway commute’ of a flight of stairs to his writing office. And they read together in the evening – all electronics off. Yes, we all have books on digital devices, but I like his approach. Unplug and use the time to read aloud to each other, or read around the fire pit or in comfy hammocks or chairs. Your children will thank you for this delightful and delicious summer time routine that can be a tradition they practice all lifelong. To ensure there is enough to read during the evening reading time, his family goes to the library once a week—sometimes more.

There are a lot of fun ways to make your summer enjoyable and thriving.  Intentional, easy, fun activities to add to the daily reading ritual will make for a summer that sparkles with interest instead of frustration. With this basic EASY, Low or NO Cost plan in place, your week will go by fast as you share with family and friends wonderful slow connecting activities like taking walk, playing a board game and perhaps a game of tag or corn hole.  

What would it be like if you and your family friends went to the library together? We have long been advocates of the local library here at Fine-Tuned Families (listen to our Wise Parent Wise Kids conversation with our local librarian here:

Share with us over on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/finetunedfamilies/ how you and your family are choosing to thrive this summer by sharing reading time together. What is the book or topic that is hot for your young readers? We are wondering what we should read next… let us know how your summer amusement of reading and connecting plays out!