On “How Kids Really Succeed,” by Paul Tough, The Atlantic (2016)


How Kids Really Succeed, by Paul Tough

Out of the corner of my eye, I watched my grandson, Matthew, then 18-months-old, struggle to connect the cars on his train set via hooks. They were slippery, some turned the wrong way, making them difficult to fasten. Time passed—minutes that felt like hours. Would he ask me to help? Cry or throw the cars in frustration? No, none of the above, though I was on the verge of all of the above. Grit, resilience, self-control, and optimism are among the important traits, according to Paul Tough’s article, that lead to success in learning. I get it. Matthew finally connected those fiendish hooks to his satisfaction. I like to think my being nearby but without jumping in helped—nurturing through my presence, appreciating the moment, and basking in his final success. Hey, that’s something I can do for sure.