Encouraging Persistence

February 19, 2020
Encouraging Persistence

Children are born with a motivation to explore and learn, but kids need to develop persistence to accomplish their goals. As a parent, you can teach and strengthen persistence by supporting a growth mindset in your child. Read below for tips on how you can encourage your child’s persistence.

1. Help your child attempt to solve problems on his own

Use questions to inspire him to work through problems. Try asking questions like, “what do you think you need to balance these two blocks?” Questions help your child use logical thinking skills and encourage him to use persistence. Resist the urge to rescue and fix. Figuring things out on their own builds children’s confidence and motivation.

2. Point out how your child’s actions help him to achieve a goal

Avoid only praising success by noticing the steps involved in achieving a goal. For example, say, “I noticed how carefully you tried to put the puzzle piece in its spot. It doesn’t quite fit that way, but I bet you can get it to.”

3. Support your child as she tries to master new skills

By doing something for your child that she wants to do by herself, you take away her initiative. Whenever possible, let her do things like pick out her own clothes, wash her face, put on her socks. Praise her efforts. If she begins to get frustrated, you can offer suggestions or some assistance. Don’t do the work for her. It’s better to just try again another day. By doing so, you are fostering your child’s autonomy.

4. Encourage your child to try new tasks

Offer your child lots of opportunities to feel successful by doing small, age-appropriate challenges. Focus on the importance of taking on challenges throughout the learning process, and not just when problems arise. Try saying, “let’s pick a hard one. Hard ones are fun!”

5. Don’t show disappointment

Your child’s persistence shouldn’t be about pleasing you. It should be about nurturing their intrinsic motivation to learn and explore. Teach your child to use “bounce back” statements  when she gets frustrated. Try saying things like, “the only way to get better is to keep trying,” or “mistakes let us know what not to do next time.” Help your child understand that failure or disappointment can make them more prepared the next time.

For more tips like these, click here.

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