Families On The Home Front Series: How To Raise A Child Of Character
Character Trait: Perseverance
“It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.” – Babe Ruth
There is nothing more rewarding as a parent than witnessing your child achieve their goals – no matter how big or small they might be. Whether it’s learning to walk or hitting their first home run, witnessing achievement gained by hard work are a parent’s proudest moments. Hard work and determination are the ingredients to perseverance.
Perseverance is a character trait that enables a person to continue to focus their efforts on a task until it is complete. There are a number of ancillary attributes that develop when a person consistently perseveres: confidence, pride, self-reliance, resourcefulness and resiliency.
Parents can find ways to encourage, model, and highlight instances of perseverance, so children are aware of the benefits of sticking with something that is challenging. In some ways, this is an easy trait to nurture because kids make a lot of mistakes giving parents plenty of opportunities to encourage them to “try again,” “start over,” or “don’t give up.”
Life lessons on perseverance abound as kids get older. Here are a few tips for nurturing perseverance in your child.
When your child is faced with a challenging task:
- Offering tasks that are just challenging enough but not too overwhelming
- Break tasks into small achievable goals
- Help your child keep their goal in mind, have them visualize the end result
- Encourage confidence, help them connect their mindset to their effort
- Praise your child’s effort at least as much as their accomplishment
- Share instances when you’ve needed perseverance and grit to accomplish a difficult task.
Have your child engage in activities that teach perseverance:
- Puzzles, blocks, self-help skills
- Practicing sports or physical skills like throwing, catching, handstands, back bends, obstacle courses and races
- Read books or stories with characters who demonstrate perseverance
Teach your child proactive phrases to replace a negative mindset:
- Help your child develop their unique inner voice for managing challenges by repeating any of the following:
- I can do it
- Don’t give up
- I’ll try again
- Practice makes better
- Just keep swimming
- I think I can I think I can
- Mind over matter
- I’ll do better
- Encourage your child to replace “I can’t” with “I am having a hard time.”
Children will look to parents for ways to handle challenges:
- Make mistakes and demonstrate your own perseverance
- Share your perseverance story that relates to your child’s circumstances
- Help them realize that everyone makes mistakes, but what is important is to keep trying.
Perseverance is a lifelong trait that will eventually define who our children become. It’s never the smartest, fastest, or most talented children that have the best success stories as adults. It’s the children who never stop trying, never gave up and learned from each mistake. Perseverance is a gift all children intuitively have, but parents should encourage and grow it throughout their formative years. As a bonus, it makes for very proud parenting.
Falling down is a part of life, but getting back up is living.