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Kumon Malaysia

“Few things are impossible to diligence and skill. Great works are performed not by strength, but perseverance.” – Dr. Samuel Johnson

Diligence, by its very definition, is the application of focused and persistent effort to complete a task. A diligent person has an extra edge – they put in more dedicated hours towards realizing their goal, and that becomes the deciding factor for their extraordinary success in life. There can’t be any short cut to success. The toil of years, the sweat of your brow, struggle you make, everything counts in achieving the goal. As such, diligence is needed in all spheres of life as it is one of the key ingredients for success.

So, parents, will your child have what it takes to succeed? If he wants to play sports in school, does he have the diligence to steadily do his school work and practice on an average of 45 hours a week? If he wants to go to med school, will he be diligent enough to push through 80 plus hours a week at the hospital for his residency?

Yes, it can be achieved. For dreams to come true, it requires diligence. It’s been said that one needs discipline in order to develop diligence, and they should begin at home. Let’s look further on what are the things you can do to cultivate these values in your children:

Being an All-around Role Model

Being a positive role model actually requires effort, fore-thought, and self-control for most parents. Because your children are watching you all the time, your actions, beliefs, and attitudes become integrated into your children’s way of being; therefore, it is very important that you be very intentional about what behaviours you model for your children.

Unfortunately for parents, the saying “Do as I say, not as I do” simply does not work. Children can sniff out hypocrisy like a bloodhound, and they gain the most from parents who demonstrate consistency between their actions and their values by “walking the talk.” If you don’t want your children to spend excessive time on technology devices, you have to limit your use of the same devices. Kids respect adults who live by the rules they preach.

Praise, Encouragement, and Rewards

No matter how old your children are, your praise and encouragement will help them feel good about themselves. This boosts their self-esteem and confidence. Sometimes rewards can be useful too, especially if you want to encourage good behaviour. Help build your child’s self-esteem and encourage good behaviour with these tips:

When you feel good about your child, say so. See if you can give your child some words of encouragement every day. The small things you say can build up over time to have a big effect on your child.

Try to praise more than you criticize. As a guide, try to praise your child six times for every one time you say something negative.

Look for little changes and successes. Rather than waiting until your child has done something perfectly to give a compliment, try to praise any effort or improvement.

Accept that everyone’s different. Praise your child for her unique strengths and encourage her to develop and feel excited about her particular interests. This will help her develop a sense of pride and confidence.

Surprise your child with a reward for good behaviour. For example, ‘Thanks for picking up the toys – let’s go to the park to celebrate’.

Praise effort as well as achievement. Recognize and praise how hard your child is trying – for example, ‘You worked really hard on that essay’ or ‘Thank you for remembering to hang your coat on the peg’.

Try to make your praise dependent on your child’s behaviour, rather than your feelings. You might find that the more you look for good behaviour to praise, the more positive you’ll feel and the more good behaviour you’ll see.

Helping Children Set and Reach Goals

Goal setting is an important life skill, and the sooner that children start to learn the importance of achieving what they set out to do, the sooner they learn that they have the power to make things happen. Goal setting helps children to identify what is important to them in life, motivates them and builds self-confidence and self-esteem. Break your child’s goals down into achievable chunks, so that they can take small steps day by day. Encourage your child to identify goals that they will enjoy working towards. Make sure your child knows that while it is important to work towards a goal, it is also okay if they don’t achieve their desired result.

Set a Routine

From brushing teeth regularly to completing homework every afternoon, routines help establish constructive habits. Children who practice these skills will be able to better manage their time. As they age, they’ll have more self-discipline in terms of healthy grooming and eating habits, along with studying and cleaning their rooms.

When founded in 1954, Toru Kumon understood the importance of consistent and diligent study in order to achieve success. Daily practice was the fundamental stepping stone that helped his oldest son, Takeshi, achieve that goal. Through this little and often approach, children will learn more efficiently and make stronger progress as they apply what they have learned. This sense of routine also fosters effective study habits and a positive attitude to study.

One should try hard no matter what the result is because the greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time you fall. A champion is the one who gets up, even when he finds it tough to do so. Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment; full effort is full victory.

At Kumon, we truly feel that diligence provides the base for our students to achieve success in life. By completing a series of small-step worksheets every day, our students cultivate the valuable habit of diligence. We believe that by giving children the ability to become self-learners, we can take them closer and closer to achieving their biggest goals, one worksheet at a time!