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PERSISTENCE ALWAYS BEATS RESISTANCE
We talked about diligence and its importance to children in our last article. Diligence refers to being persistent and making hard work effort in doing something. Persistence is the one quality more than any other that can guarantee success.
Being diligent means that you are careful and thorough in what you are doing. You love what you are doing and hence do it energetically and whole-heartedly. On the other hand, persistence means that you strive to the very end of a certain task. You persist in something even if there is any obstruction or the like to hold you down and hamper you.
If we hope to solve a problem, reach a goal, or achieve a dream, we need to stay the course despite setbacks, hardships, and frustrations. There are tons of examples of heroes of ours who persisted, stayed on course, and met or even exceeded their goals. Let’s look at some examples.
Albert Einstein was thought to be mentally handicapped before changing the face of modern physics and winning the Nobel Prize.
J.K Rowling was nearly penniless, severely depressed, divorced, and a single mom, who went to school while writing Harry Potter. Rowling went from needing government assistance to being one of the richest women in the world in a 5-year span through her hard work and PERSISTENCE.
Persistence is a trait that can be taught and learned. It’s just a matter of knowing how to help your children — and not giving up on them when they give up on themselves.
Talk about it
Teach your kids the different ways to talk about problem-solving: “I won’t quit,” “I can do it,” and “It’s always hardest the first time, but it will get easier.” Tell stories either from your own life or read to your child about succeeding despite the obstacles.
Being a role model
Children who have good, strong role models to follow have a better chance of developing a positive lifestyle. Model persistence by sharing some of your own goals and then showing your child how you’re achieving them.
Give your child a special job like feeding pets, reading bedtime stories to their younger siblings, or collecting the mail. Let them take on that responsibility and learn to take pride in their work. Let them bear the burden – and the joy – of being counted on.
When we see our kids having a hard time because they aren’t succeeding, it’s tempting to jump in to make it all better. But remember: We learn by trial and error. By giving kids a chance to fail, we also give them the pleasure of succeeding on their own.
Nurture a hobby
Children who have a passion learn the pleasure of practicing and improving at something they love. Support your children’s interests. Not only are they learning first-hand the value of mastering something through effort, but they may also be preparing for their adult vocation.
Watch out for the “I can’t do it” triggers
Do your kids seem to blow up at a certain time of day? Often, kids get frustrated and give up at a task simply because they are tired, hungry, or just need some time to unwind. So make sure your children are well-fed, get enough sleep, and have a chance to play before settling down to a chore or homework.
Push them … just a little
This is one of the trickiest but most essential ways to work out children’s persistence muscles. It’s tempting for kids who do something well to stay in their comfort zone and never venture beyond that point. Push them to try just a little bit harder next time. Don’t forget to offer words of encouragement: “You did great by practicing for 10 minutes. Let’s see if we can make this a little more challenging for you.”
But don’t make the expectations too great
While you do want to encourage kids to try harder, don’t make your expectations exceed their ability to succeed. If you see your children failing more often than not and feeling the sting of disappointment every time, ask yourself if you are setting the bar too high.
Remind them of their successes
“I’ll never be able to do it!” Chances are you’ve heard your children utter this mournful cry of defeat. At times like these, make kids the hero of a story. Remind them of the triumphal times they had trouble doing well at something but kept their eyes on the goal and succeeded. “Remember when you were terrified of swimming but stayed with your lessons and ended up loving them?” This kind of pep talk is often just what kids need to try, try again. And when your children hang in there, point it out. “You stuck with your homework even though it was hard. You should be really proud.”
At Kumon, we cultivate and strengthen persistence in your child by completing a series of challenging problem-solving small-step worksheets every day. Teaching children about persistence gives them the tool they need to learn the new material that they are exposed to on a daily basis. Children will find themselves in situations where things are tough and they feel like giving up. They must be taught that through persistence, people can overcome difficulties and succeed.