It's all too tempting to channel our children into a mini-me. Yes they look up to their parents as super heroes who can do marvellous things, and there is a likelihood, that what ever example we set as parents, they will follow.
If we munch on pizza and burgers in front of the TV each night, that precedent is set for eating unhealthily (both in manner and content). If however we exercise, that too may rub off, and they will most likely follow our example to some degree, which in turn brings us all great joy. The obvious exception to this, is when you work for months to refine a yoga pose, and your 4 year old daughter walks straight in, does it, and goes on her way as if nothing ever happened.
Rather than forcing our children to follow in our footsteps, making them have ballet lessons, toughening up the son with a good dose of winter rugby in the wind and hail and so on, there are 4 clear stages in which we can help them build up 'grit' - a form of determination which will help them through life.
These are : An Interest (and this needs to be encouraged rather than focusing on their weaknesses); deliberate and regular practise (to refine the skills); a purpose (the long term reasoning about what it brings to others) and hope (that resilience that they will keep trying and moving forwards despite what comes their way).
Funnily enough, it is not just children who this applies to, it is us as well - especially when your 4 year old contortionist leaves the room with you in a twisted crumpled heap!
“People with grit are not driven by pleasure or fun as much as they are by the gratification of being excellent at what they do and realizing that excellence benefits other people,”