Perseverance is a difficult skill to foster in this world of instant gratification and easy credit, but helping children learn when to stick at something could be one of the best things you can do for your child. Everyone knows that at some point life gets tough and it is how people cope with the tough times that defines them much more than the good ones.
No one likes a quitter but it’s also no use doggedly sticking to something when everything is telling you it is not going to work. Learning to tell the difference is the key to success in all aspects of life.[quoteblock text= ‘It doesn’t matter if you try and try and try again, and fail. It does matter if you try and fail, and fail to try again. Charles Kettering’]
- Be patient – Perseverance will not come over night and will take time to teach children. If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again!
- Model perseverance – Demonstrate to your child how to set realistic goals with a suitable time frame.
- Applaud effort and celebrate achievements to encourage perseverance and show how commitment pays off.
- Don’t be too quick to help – Allowing children to struggle a bit and then get the satisfaction of having acheived something on their own is a positive way of encouraging perseverance and it will be self-reinforcing as children will start to enjoy the challenge and the feeling of success afterwards. Make sure you give plenty of praise for children’s efforts and don’t always focus on the result.
- Prioritising is key – Teach your child how to prioritise tasks – this also teaches them about time management.
- Allow children to give up when necessary – don’t force children to persist with things that they are not getting any benefit from. It is common for parents to push their children to do well at things that they enjoyed as a child, or that they wish they’d done, but make sure that you are not pushing your child to do things that he or she has no real interest in or talent for as this will only lead to resentment later on.
- Encourage children to take responsibility for their decisions – if a child is giving up an activity, ask him/her to explain why and talk through the implications for this. Where possible, encourage the child to be the one to tell the other people in the group and the group leader.
- Don’t overschedule children – children who have very busy timetables often never quite get round to finishing things or doing any of their activities properly. Allow children time to do their activities properly and finish them off before starting the next thing.