In the Learning Habit Study, we examined Parenting Styles and Grit. Parenting Styles were broken down into two categories. Traditional Parenting places emphasis on correcting or punishing unwanted behavior. It was also characterized by reduced communication between parents and with the child. Empowerment Parenting included a productive flow of communication among parents as well as with the child and a measure of confidence in the child’s capacity to make appropriate choices. These Parenting Styles were compared against Grit. Grit may be described as a child’s ability to persist through challenges in pursuit of a goal. Grit is a character trait involving self-motivation, determination, and tenacity.
Across all grade levels, parents who indicated higher rates of Traditional Parenting Styles had children with lower Grit scores. Meanwhile, parents who indicated higher Empowerment Parenting Styles had children with higher Grit scores. Traditional Parenting is often punitive with little communication or explanation for rules of boundaries. By demanding obedience with little explanation, we hypothesize that children may not acquire a healthy level of confidence in their decision-making. Alternatively, the Empowerment Parenting Style promotes positive reinforcement for effort, which appears to stimulates motivation and persistence.