Encourage Tenacity

Grit.  Resiliency. Stubbornness.  Whatever name you want to call it, but we need people with more of it.  “When the going gets tough, the tough get going” (I couldn’t find who said this, but I think I heard it from John Wayne in an old cowboy movie).  Albert Einstein said that “Genius is 1% talent and 99% hard work.”   This is so true.  It doesn’t matter how smart you are, you can work hard.  I am working on this with my children.  I was one that had to study.  I didn’t breeze through school, even thought I had a doctorate degree.  I couldn’t listen in class and just get it.  I had to read it and then I had to write it. I was a note taker and still am.  Yesterday, I had to take my son on a field trip to physically show him what erosion and weathering looked like.  He was not getting it from a book.  We had fun walking around the yard for 10 minutes so our younger son wanted to go on a field trip but his only school problems and talking and dancing in class.  I can’t fix that by a field trip!  We are having two different football experiences this year also.  One team isn’t winning (or scoring for that matter) so the teammates are quitting by the 3rd quarter.  They are getting hurt, getting sick, or asking to come off the field. Not ours.  He loves the game.  He plays every play.  He doesn’t come off the field.  He was told Saturday that the year started with four captains, and he was the only one left. The other three had to earn their spots back.   How do we teach this?  I heard parents blaming it on the coaches, not coaching right, in front of their sons.  I think this undermines everything the coaches are trying to do and doesn’t help teach tenacity.   I am a firm believer that there are adult issues that should not be discussed in front of kids. Now, if I could get as much tenacity out of that one in the classroom as I do on the football field, life in our house would be much easier!  But then that wouldn’t be teaching me tenacity, huh?


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