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Teaching Your Child Not to Quit

August 2, 2017

Encourage Perseverance

How many times have you heard your child say, "This is too hard" or "I can't do it"? Have you seen your child become frustrated and give up on a task or activity because he can't figure it out?

Perseverance is the willingness to keep on trying. Teaching and encouraging perseverance is important to your child's success in school and life. Being emotionally able to handle challenges and not give up will greatly impact your child's self confidence and his readiness to learn.

For some children perseverance is an inherent trait, while for others it is a skill that needs to be taught and nurtured. Children who are naturally perseverant tend to be inquisitive and possess a higher level of tolerance. For these children a new task is approached with enthusiasm and creativity. Children who are not naturally perseverant may become overwhelmed with a new task and may quit when they lose confidence.

Some ways to nurture or encourage your child's perseverance:

  • Avoid taking over or completing the task. No parent wants to see their child fail. Completing tasks for your child, however, will encourage reliance on you. Allow your child to master age-appropriate tasks.
  • Offer words of encouragement. "I know you can figure this out" or "Look how close you are to finishing this, you can do it!" These words convey belief in your child’s abilities.
  • Acknowledge your child's feelings. Do not minimize what your child is feeling. Recognize the different feelings your child is expressing and support by sharing coping mechanisms.
  • Demonstrate your own perseverance. Your child will be more apt to keep trying if perseverance traits are observed in you.
  • Honor resilience. The more times your child is able to overcome challenges, the more confidence will be gained in facing new challenges. Start teaching perseverance early so when school and life get tougher, your child is ready.

This article was written for the August 2017 edition of Parent Source.