Today, I opened my e-mail to find yet another tiresome article from Linked In about “grit”: Does your child have it? How can they get it? How can this quality be used to make more money for corporate America?
I’m fed up with reading articles about how to give your kids “grit”. If you’re worried about your kid’s lack of grit, your kid does not have grit, nor are they likely to get it. Grit is not another consumer item that you can buy, finagle, or “create an experience” around for your child. Grit does not come from some manufactured experience that you can cook up, nor is it just another consumer good you can purchase to ensure your child’s success in a capitalistic system.
Grit is an authentic quality that develops when the adults in your life don’t make your mental, emotional, and physical safety their top priority every given second. Grit develops when you are truly alone in the world, in over your head, and those around you are completely indifferent to your pain. Grit develops when no one is there to rescue you, and you have to keep enduring day after day, no matter what. Grit is the pearl developed through long years of agitation and discomfort. Grit is a survival instinct, a necessity that blooms in those of us who did not enter this world with a safety net billowing below us 24/7. Grit is not a corporate buzzword or another trendy anti-Millennial movement. Grit is real, and it’s serious stuff, and if you’re obsessed with how to obtain it for your child, your kid ain’t got it, and is never going to get it. So please, stop writing pithy articles about grit. Grit is not cute. It’s not something you can shoehorn into your kid’s experience or otherwise purchase. Grit is serious stuff, and it should be left to the professionals.