Not sure how the Discovery Family Program works?
Help family members develop GRIT through goal setting
Help kids set a SMART goal to accomplish something they find difficult and outside their comfort zone.
Be supportive and interested in what your child is passionate about.
Provide resources to help them explore and develop their interests.
We can also share our own stories of grit and how we kept going even when we found something difficult.
It can also be helpful to remind our children of something they had to work at to achieve success in the past, such as riding a bike or swimming. Remember the importance of tolerating those difficult emotions of frustration and upset when something doesn’t go right. It’s hard to witness as a parent, but it’s good for our children. The famous phrase ‘if at first you don’t succeed, try try again’ springs to mind!
Teach kids the power of YET when they are first starting off. If they get discouraged and say things like 'I can't do it' or 'It's too hard' be sure to remind them that 'You may not be able to do it well YET, but you will get better each time you try.
The best teacher is example! Set your own SMART goal to work on while the kids are working on theirs!
Work together to determine a reward that the whole family will enjoy when this Adventure is completed. Make sure it is meaningful and exciting for the whole family. You want everyone to be motivated to achieve their goal.
Remember to focus on EFFORT rather than RESULTS. Even with the 'reward', be sure you enjoy the reward together after each family member has put in the amount of EFFORT identified in the goal. If you make the reward contingent upon being perfect (or even really, really good) at what was identified in the goal it may seem like the reward is too far out there to be motivating. Getting really good at some things can take months or even years! Make sure kids can count on the reward after doing something that they have control over like putting in a certain amount of effort or practice.
Be sure to point out to kids the improvement you see. It may take them years to get really good at something, but they will see improvement, even if it's just baby steps, with each time they practice. Point that out to them and help them see that they ARE getting better with each try.
Grit allows children to use their internal resources when things are hard. It is a term many of us may have heard, but there are a variety of ways we can grow this important skill. One of our biggest parenting challenges is fighting that mama bear instinct of diving in to save our children whenever we see them struggling. We all know that bubble wrapping them isn’t good and that children need to feel challenged in order to grow- but boy is it hard to sit back sometimes!
Everyone has three zones of learning:
→ a comfort zone, where they feel safe;
→ a growth zone, where something feels hard but achievable, and
→ a black out zone, where the body goes into flight or fight.
Everyone’s zones are different sizes so with a more hesitant child, it can be important to practice baby steps so they are stretched but not overwhelmed.
Goal setting can help children expand their worlds in a safe but challenging way; and allowing our children to share the new things that they would like to have a go at can be a positive way to encourage goal setting. However, not all goals are equal. To really be effective there are certain elements that should be included in the goal. Help your kids learn how to set SMART goals.
SMART stands for
→ Specific (Example: Instead of "learn to dance", set a specific goal to "take a summer dance class" or "Practice and perform a dance for my family."
→ Measurable (Include HOW you will know you've accomplished your goal. For a goal about running, that might be "jog a 5k without walking". For learning to ride a bike that might mean "ride my bike all the way around the block without falling off.")
→ Achievable (It's important to keep our kids in that GROWTH ZONE. Setting goals that are too hard or several months out of reach will demotivate them. Help them set a goal that they can realistically achieve in the next 1-4 months.)
→ Relevant (This is where you think about your WHY for the goal. Letting our children choose what they want to do is the best way to keep their goals relevant to them! They're going to be way more motivated to accomplish a goal if it's something they desire, and not something they're doing to please someone else.)
→ Time-Bound (Set a time limit for your goal. Example: "Run 5k in September." or "Practice the piano 3x a week for the entire month of July.")
Help your preschool aged kids set simple goals that can be accomplished in a day or week. It'll get them used to setting goals and help them feel the success of achieving them! (Examples: "Do a lemonade stand." "Ride my scooter 5 days in a row.")
Making a visual representation of the goal is also great for this age group. In the "Ride my scooter 5 days in a row" example, you might make a chart with 5 squares to be colored in. Each day the child rides a scooter, one of the squares gets colored until they are all complete!
Community Engagement Adventure
Share a concept you learned from this Adventure with a friend. Have them join you in setting a goal! After all, one of the best ways to keep ourselves accountable is to share our goals with others.
You could also set a goal regarding community engagement. Determine what you can do to help your family become more connected to your community (since you know what an important protective factor this is for your kids!) and set a goal to do that. Here are a few ideas:
→ Complete a community engagement level Adventure at least once each week
→ Once a month invite a different family you don't know as well over for a cookout or game night
→ Take a 'Neighborhood Clean-up Walk' once a month to help keep your street clean or adopt a local park
Teaching teens how to set SMART goals is a skill that will help them for LIFE!
Be encouraging, but careful not to nag. During the goal setting process, really focus on helping your teen to come up with a way to track their progress (MEASURABLE goals)!
by Outside of the Comfort Zone