It's easy for a child to give up on a task that seems too difficult. However, encouraging your child to persevere to accomplish a task is a great way to build their self-confidence, as well as show how rewarding it can be to overcome difficulties and accomplish something they thought they couldn’t.
Why Teaching Perseverance is Important
If children are permitted to just give up on a task they think is too hard, they may eventually develop a fear of trying to overcome obstacles in their lives or of trying new things. However, by being persistent when they’re trying to learn a new subject in school or a new task, children will learn the value of hard work and how good it feels when they accomplish something they consider difficult.
Being persistent can also help children develop self-confidence. When they do persevere and accomplish something, children need to have their perseverance reinforced with praise from both their teachers and parents. For small children, learning to tie their shoes can be difficult, but if they persevere, they’ll master tying their shoes and move on to learn the next new skill. Praise children for their efforts and accomplishments to help build their self-esteem and confidence.
How to Teach Perseverance
Children usually learn from their parents by watching and imitating their behavior. If their parents give up on difficult tasks easily, children will learn that behavior as well. However, parents can model perseverance by continuing to make an effort to learn new skills, overcome difficulties, and accomplish their goals. When their parents are rewarded with a promotion and/or pay raise, children will learn there can be rewards for persevering on a task.
Parents can also use language to help children make the connection between their hard work and success. For instance, rather than just giving general praise, tell them that their practice has paid off — that playing their instrument, their grade in math class, or their sports performance has gotten much better. Make the direct connection between their perseverance and their accomplishments. Not only will they learn to persevere, but they can learn self-discipline as well.