Life Skills: 5 ways Parents Can Teach Perseverance

word of month character
Teaching character and life skills to students

Now we have learned that the inner drive the child has to stick with something until they have learned it, whether it is riding a bike, swimming, math, reading, or how to be a good friend, is the key to achievement, the question is “How Can I as A Parent Teach My Child To Stick With Their Goals?” Here are 5 ways to help build the quality of perseverance in your child:

  1. Praise their efforts when they stick with something they are trying to do.
  2. Emphasize effort over grades when they bring their papers home from school
  3. Point out the example of others who have overcome obstacles and stuck with a project
  4. Set the example and talk about your own efforts to keep working on something you are trying to accomplish.
  5. Praise the hard work they put into a project more than the results and the end product.

    If we reinforce that success is built on effort and hard work, doing the best that we can consistently and over time, our children will develop the quality of perseverance.

    2 Replies to “Life Skills: 5 ways Parents Can Teach Perseverance”

    1. Good suggestions, Joe. We’ve been trying to employ this with our girls for school work, sports, and other activities. You do see something in their eyes when you recall with them the hard work it took for them to be able to earn that next TKD belt or that swimming ribbon or that great rating in a recital. Recognizing that the success comes not by itself but through hard work and perseverance is so important. Even those who are “naturals” still need to learn and practice.

    2. Had another thought: Grades, however, can be difficult in this regard. Effort is important: some kids don’t put in the effort and get grades that don’t reflect their true potential. One of my best friends in HS was like this — tested at a very high level on SATs, etc., but rarely turned in assignments and was lazy about studying… and so got rotten grades. The converse isn’t necessarily true, though: effort alone won’t always yield academic success. Some kids study long and hard but may still not earn grades that would be considered successful in this very academically competitive society*. In these cases, perhaps a careful look at HOW the student is putting in all that effort is warranted: encourage them regardless, but also work with them to ensure they are studying in the right way. Perhaps the student even has a learning disability that can be overcome with professional help and learning the proper study techniques.

      (*Of course, “success” – financial, social, familial, etc. – does not necessarily correlate directly with academic success. Plenty of examples of that in our community and worldwide. That could surely be the subject of a post all it’s own! )

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