Did you ever notice that people today don't have that "Stick-to-it-ness" like it used to be? It's become so easy to simply quit or walk away from completing tasks that some are amazed when tasks are actually complete. This isn't how it's supposed to be.
Teens today were brought up in a generation where instant gratification is rampant. It's expected, not appreciated or something that is earned as much as, well, expected! It's very common to hear that so-and-so quit the team or a job, or simply just stopped trying to do their best in school. After all, it's almost expected that students won't fail if they don't turn in their homework or participate in class because teachers are now paid and punished based on student achievement. We've taught a generation that pursuing long-term goals with passion is a thing of the past. But it's not...
So how do we teach perseverance? How do we get our children to stick to tasks, make long-term goals, and cultivate the capacity to persevere? My first suggestion is to have them disconnect from the virtual world for a while. Many of today's kids simply spend too much time in the virtual world and haven't properly learned how to deal with real-world problems or how to work through problems for themselves.
I also suggest that you stop coddling your child and allow them to struggle. Kids today really haven't struggled, therefore they can't figure out how to work through problems to find their bearings after setbacks and disappointment. Let's face it, this is a life skill that we all need to succeed and persevere but parents today want to provide an easy road for their children and often this leads to the inability to develop higher-level problem-solving skills.
I have to admit that I'm guilty of my next suggestion, which is to stop living your child's life. Yes, easier said than done but necessary skills come from failure if you heed the lesson. Put down the pencil, glue and construction paper and let your child do the project that is due, or let them suffer the consequences of their decision if they choose not to. Learning that there are repercussions for not turning in school work is a skill that helps one for a lifetime. Employers sure aren't going to do the project that they expect you to do, so why would you do your child's homework assignments? It just doesn't build perseverance skills. Stop the madness.
It's also important to lead by example. My son watches every little thing that I do and I see him mimicking my actions constantly. If you want them to succeed, show them! Put down the phone, disconnect the laptop and take out an old fashioned board game like a jigsaw puzzle, a deck of cards or a dice game and teach them social skills. For Goodness Sake, try to avoid the pitfall that parents like to fall in. Do not simply let them win. Losing teaches how to accept defeat gracefully, how to take turns, how to communicate effectively and so many more valuable life skills.
It's Girl Scouts Cookie Time in America right now which leads to my final suggestion that will help your child learn perseverance. Allow your child to set goals in fundraising activities and also allow them to set up a workable plan on how to reach it. Don't simply take those cookies to work... Let them take orders from their teachers, peers, etc. and then deliver on the goods. Nothing good comes from doing this for your child instead of with your child.
Have an amazing day!
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