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CGA Speaker Series: Author Laila Sanguras on “Parenting for Grit: How to Raise Passionate Children Who Persevere”

October 2, 2017

Coppell Gifted Association is pleased to announce that author and former CISD educator Laila Sanguras will give a talk entitled “Parenting for Grit: How to Raise Passionate Children Who Persevere” on Thursday, October 12, at 6:30pm at Town Center Elementary in Coppell. The event is free for CGA members and $5 per family at the door for non-members.

Dr. Sanguras will summarize the evolution of grit as the popular phenomenon it is today and provide a rationale for why the development of this psychosocial skill is so important for our gifted children.

Dr. Sanguras writes that we should think of grit in this way: Imagine a race where every runner begins with the exact same running ability. At some point, fatigue sets in. Some runners slowly falter, fading into the background while other runners continue pushing themselves. After a certain distance, all of the runners will have stopped – leaving one who outlasts the rest. If all runners have the same ability, what is the difference among the first to drop out, the fifth, and the one who never stops? More importantly, can that intangible difference be measured and developed?

Yes, it can.

Grit is a skill, an ability that is malleable and transferable among contexts. Grit, the combination of sustained hard work and resiliency, is the difference between those who give up and those who don’t. Grit can be strategically developed through failure and healthy responses, which can be difficult for students and their parents, but the influence of parents on the development of grit is significant. Luckily, this is an area where we are all on the same page.

To illustrate, ask the dad of a 25 year old if he wants his son to move home. You know… for more opportunities to cook, clean, and financially support an otherwise-able adult. Most would guess that this loving father would like to love his son from afar, even if it’s from the house next door. We raise our kids so they move out. And stay out. And then come visit. The key to this is perseverance. Life is hard – there is no doubt about that. In order to face and overcome life’s challenges, we have to raise our children to be resilient, to see obstacles as opportunities, and to have hope.

Raising gritty kids is painful. It means saying no when your daughter calls to bring the homework she left on the kitchen table. It means teaching your son to advocate for himself instead of stepping in to handle things. It means setting and enforcing rules and expectations. (And sometimes it means hiding in your closet with a box of cookies just to get through it.)

Coppell Gifted Association is committed to promoting awareness of and providing information about the education and social/emotional needs of GT students; supporting the CISD and its teachers in their efforts to meet the needs of GT students; and identifying the unmet needs of gifted students and championing solutions to address them. Click on join to become a member.


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