Our next Friendship Group session is focusing on encouraging persistence.
Persistence is the ability to stick to a task, especially when the going gets tough. It is being able to keep going when a task becomes challenging.
Here are six ways to teach your child/children persistence:
1. Nurture a hobby
Find a hobby your child loves to do, and let them indulge in their passion. By being able to indulge in an activity that they love, children begin to learn the joy of practise and repetition, and the value of learning something special through effort.
2. Give them opportunities to succeed
Children’s mental muscles will never get bigger without some resistance – give them a chance to stretch themselves, and praise them for rising up to the challenge. Start with a smaller task that they can achieve, then build up to something a little harder.
3. Give your child responsibility
Give your child a special job like setting the table, feeding a pet, reading bedtime stories to their younger brother or sister, or collecting the mail. For older children, it might be helping with family meal planning, walking the dog, or tending to a particular part of your garden. 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.
4. Resist rescuing your child from meltdowns
There will be meltdowns, even when your child is faced with an activity you know they can do. Give them the opportunity to step up and get back on their bike after they fall apart. Let them have a break, then gently coax them back to the task. If it doesn’t work, try again tomorrow. If you have a breezy attitude towards getting things done, it may rub off on your child.
5. Don’t give up on them when they give up on themselves
Acknowledge that the task is hard, but shift the emphasis toward trying. If they try, they will eventually solve the task. Encourage problem solving skills. If a task seems overwhelming, help your child break it down into smaller parts, don’t just solve it for them. When they succeed, they can truly celebrate because they did it all by themselves.
6. Remind them of their successes
When your child is overwhelmed, remind them of a time when they achieved something big, or hard. Remember when you were the only five-year-old swimming in the big pool with the yr. 2 children? By believing in them, your children will soon develop the kind of positive attitude they will tap into for the rest of their lives.
Things you can say to encourage persistence:
“Look at all of your hard work.”
“Good for you, you didn’t give up.”
“The more you practice, the better you get.”
“You did that even though it wasn’t easy or fun.”
“That was hard, but look how easy you made it by trying.”
Student Wellbeing /Student Services Leader