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By means of my analysis as a baby psychologist, I found that perseverance is the #1 social ability that distinguishes youngsters who’re extremely motivated from those that hand over simply. In truth, research have backed it up as a stronger predictor of success than IQ.
Kids who’ve perseverance don’t hand over within the face of setbacks. They consider that their efforts will repay, in order that they keep motivated to work laborious and end what they began, regardless of the boundaries that come up.
Listed below are 9 methods mother and father might help youngsters develop perseverance:
1. Fight the components that discourage youngsters.
Step one is to battle in opposition to the 4 components that derail perseverance. I like to make use of the acronym “FAIL” as a useful reminder:
- Fatigue: Defend your kid’s concentration skills by following regular sleep routines. Turn off devices an hour before bed and keep screens out of the bedroom at night.
- Anxiety: The pressure to succeed can cause overwhelming feelings. Express to your child that her love is not dependent on her success.
- Identity based solely on quick wins: Instill a growth mindset so your child understands that success is not fixed. Praise them for their efforts, not their results.
- Learning expectations that do not match skills: Set expectations slightly above your child’s ability level. Expectations that are too high can cause anxiety, while expectations that are too low can lead to boredom.
2. Teach that mistakes are opportunities for growth.
Remind your kids that mistakes can be a good thing, even if a situation doesn’t turn out the way they hoped. Own up to their mistakes and tell them, “It’s okay to be wrong. What matters is that you tried.”
Admit your own mistakes too. This will help them recognize that everyone makes mistakes and that success happens when you don’t let setbacks define you.
3. “Chunk” tasks.
Teaching your kids to break big tasks down into smaller, more manageable parts will help them feel more confident about getting things done over time.
If they get frustrated with a math worksheet, for example, have them take a separate sheet of paper and cover all the math problems except the top row. Then continue lowering the paper to the next row as you finish each one.
Or, if they feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of homework they have, they can write each task on a sticky note, stack them by difficulty, and do one task at a time.
4. Celebrate small victories.
Repeated failure can destroy perseverance, but the smallest success can encourage a child to keep going, so help him identify his small victories.
For example: “Last time, you spelled six words correctly. Today you got eight! That’s a win. You’re getting better because of your hard work!”
5. Stretch your focus.
If your child wants to give up on a task, put a timer on his desk and set it for an appropriate period of time, suited to his attention span.
Explain to them that they just need to keep doing it until the bell rings. They can then take a short break and reset the timer.
Encourage them to see how many problems they can complete before the bell rings so they can see that they are succeeding. Over time, focusing will become easier.
6. Correct “stumblers.”
When children give up, it may be because they see no way out of a challenge. Start by acknowledging his frustration and let him know that it’s a normal feeling. Try doing a breathing exercise or taking a break.
Then, when they get back to homework, see if you can help them identify a little bump in the road.
For example: “It sounds like you are confusing the addition and multiplication symbols.” Once the problem is clear, practice focusing on the stumbling block until you slowly get over it.
7. Praise effort.
Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck found that when children are praised for their intelligence (eg, “You’re so smart!”), they are less likely to persevere.
But when they are praised for their effort (eg, “You worked really hard on that! Good job”), they are more motivated and work harder.
To stretch perseverance, praise your child’s effort, not grades or scores. The goal is for them to feel driven to succeed without extraneous motivators, which is why I don’t really like stickers and gold stars. Research finds that surface reinforcements can actually reduce children’s perseverance.
8. Propose “maintenance” statements.
Negative self-talk like “I can’t do it” or “I’m not smart enough” it derails perseverance. Help your child choose a short, positive statement tell themselves when the going gets tough.
Remind them to repeat that statement out loud several times over a few days until they can remember to use it on their own: “Things don’t have to be perfect. I’ll get better and better if I keep trying.”
9. Take a step back and let them figure it out.
One of my main parenting rules is: Never do anything for your children that they can do for themselves.
Every time you correct your child’s mistakes or do something for him, he learns more and more to depend on you. There goes the opportunity to develop perseverance.
Once you know your child can complete a task on their own, take a step back. Let them embrace that feeling of accomplishment.
Michele Borba, EdD, is an educational psychologist, parenting expert, and author of “Thrivers: The Surprising Reasons Some Kids Struggle and Others Shine” Y “UnSelfie: Why Empathic Children Succeed in Our All About Me World.” She lives in Palm Springs, California with her husband and is the mother of three children. follow her on Twitter, Fb Y Instagram.
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