How to Teach Children Perseverance and Consistency
The journey of self-discovery is riddled with one challenge after the other—and it’s a necessary component. Some challenges are so easy that you forget them the moment they appear. Other challenges are so frustrating they make you want to pull your hair out! This being said, when the going gets tough, there’s one quality to be valued amongst all others: perseverance. Perseverance and consistency get us through the tough times and are essential for any constantly evolving mind. Being young and without experience, most children can use an extra push when it comes to these two qualities. In this article, we discuss the importance of perseverance and how to teach it to children.
The Importance of Perseverance
Firstly, let’s briefly define what perseverance is. Perseverance is the tenacity, dedication, and strong-willed natured to endure through any situation. No matter how tough or seemingly hopeless. It is our own feedback system for our capacity toward focus and determination. Perseverance survives the test of stamina and endurance. Without perseverance, marathon runners would not exist. Buildings would remain half-finished. Childbirth would be impossible.
On a less drastic scale, a lack of perseverance can lead to early stress and school failure in children. “Tenacity is a better measure of graduation probability than IQ,” as decrees New York City math teacher Angela Lee Duckworth. Perhaps more constantly than anyone else, the youth among us are faced with huge opportunities for lifelong transformations. If consistency is missing from the equation, a child may never realize their cycle of potential. Without a strong will, rough challenges can incite patterns of avoidance, timidity, and pre-mature quitting. Learning about the world is tough, and learning about oneself is even tougher. Perseverance is a necessary element for such learning.
Several comprehensive studies exemplify the importance of early-aged perseverance in children. One example includes the extra effort of babies who witnessed adults struggling with a task. Another consists of the outperformance by teens who believe intelligence is malleable versus their peers who believe it to be fixed. These skills will not only improve academic accruement, but they’ll also lead to career and social success too. Once children succeed through their perseverance, they trust more in their own abilities and set greater goals for themselves. These children grow into adults who’re willing to take risks—and big risks beget bigger rewards.
Teaching Perseverance and Consistency to Children
As a parent or a teacher, encouraging perseverance through action can make all the difference in a child’s life. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to address this common problem. Ultimately, each child will have to use their own grit to develop tenacity, but there is help along the way. Here are some of the best tips for teaching perseverance and consistency within children:
- Be a Role Model This is one of the greatest pieces of advice for any characteristic, especially this one. As we mentioned earlier, encouragement and inspiration through action go a long way in this avenue. Striding against the current and finding one’s goals can be a strenuous challenge. Be sure to face your own challenges with determination and consistency, both as a teacher and parent. This includes being persistent about being persistent! Once you (or anyone) have mastered that quality, the well of self-inspiration never runs dry.
- Allow Failure It can be constructive not to let your child win at games just because they’re young. In fact, them being young is even more reason not to let them win. This may seem harsh, but it will develop in them the persistence and resilience to succeed that is our goal. They will learn to cope with not always getting what they want in a natural way. It’s also a tool to develop hope in the face of adversary, which goes hand-in-hand with positive thinking, which leads to overall success.
- Praise Effort Although ultimate success is wonderful, it’s not the objective and is not as important as the effort itself. Congratulate a child on giving their best effort. Focus on the positive result (like learning something new) rather than the negative ones (like failure). At the same time, respect when quitting is the right decision — so long as great effort was put forth, the greatest justice to the learning process was accomplished.