“You never know what’s around the corner. It could be everything. Or it could be nothing. You keep putting one foot in front of the other, and then one day you look back and you’ve climbed a mountain.” ― Tom Hiddleston

 

Perseverance is one of life’s values that as adults we sometimes struggle with.  We are challenged everyday with trying to achieve our goals; pushing ourselves a little farther, and always looking for improvements. Whether it’s going to the gym, eating healthier or something as simple as leaving the house a little earlier for work, we look for the drive to keep on going.

 

We create goals with the best of intentions. At first we’re motivated, then we develop a master action plan that absolutely nothing will get in the way of. Unfortunately, somewhere along the way, our shiny inspiration and tasks to achieve our goals become a little overwhelming or difficult to manage.

 

Sound familiar?

 

It’s not something that we plan, in fact it’s something we fear. We set goals and then it becomes hard to achieve them.  Without a healthy dose of perseverance, goals can seem daunting and even unattainable at times.

So if adults have difficulty persevering, how do we inspire our kids to stick through it when the going gets tough?

 

Ask the question, “What is perseverance?”

It’s hard to be inspiring if we are not sure what they know. Let’s ask our children what they think perseverance means. Depending on their age, they may be familiar with the concept and might not realize that they have experienced it before. Once we have established what they know, explain what we think perseverance means. An easy way to have this conversation with them is over dinner, or at bed time when we have their full attention. Chelsea Lee Smith who writes the blog posts for Moments a Day (@MomentsADay) highlights key phrases that you can use:

  • Persevering means we don’t give up even when it’s hard.
  • To persevere means we do not let obstacles get in the way of our goal.
  • When we persevere we enjoy the journey and do not get discouraged if it is going in a way we did not expect.

 

By explaining perseverance in our own words, we may inspire them to understand it in a different way. Practicing this value in a family setting encourages our kids to continue using it in other parts of their lives like at school or in an after school activity.

 

Monkey See, Monkey Do: If You Can Do It, So Can I!

There is nothing more inspirational than seeing our hero or number one role model achieve hard-to-reach adult goals. One of the easiest ways to help this lesson sink in for our kids is to model it ourselves. If they see us working hard towards our goals, it will be easier for them to model it themselves one day, or even take our motivating advice when they need it most.

Here is an example of how we can be positive role models:

1.      Pick out an activity or a goal that you would like to improve on.

“For the next month, I’m going to make nothing but healthy food choices.”

2.      Announce to your family that it’s something you are going to do matter how difficult it may be.

“This might get a little challenging, but I’m going to do everything it takes.

3.      Make sure they see you making an effort, and share with them your thought process.

“I think I’m going to have frozen yogurt instead of ice cream, even though it probably tastes really yummy – it has lots of sugar in it.”

4.      Share your results with them.

“Wow, after one month of making healthy food choices, I have so much energy and I feel really good. I’m glad I persevered when it got really tough.”

 

This example can be applied to many other activities as well, but as long as they can see that we are learning something new while persevering in a positive way, modeling is a great way to reinforce our message.

 

I Can Do It!

 

Having an “I can do it attitude” is contagious, especially when your role model is the one passing it on. At I Can! Kids we encourage all kinds of positive contagious behavior! Our book “Work Hard! Play Hard! Dream Big!” is all about perseverance and working towards your child’s biggest dreams. The inspiring personalized story puts your child right in the book and shows them what they would be able to achieve if they “Listen well, play hard, practice lots, try their best and dream big”.

 

To personalize this book for your child click here. For more information on I Can! Kids’ philosophy and news like us on Facebook (ICanKidsBooks), and follow us on Twitter (@ICanKidsBooks).

 

Sit Back and Let The Kids Inspire Us:

 

Luckily, the young and inspirational minds of children are fun to work with. They have the ability to spark something inside our adult minds that reminds us to be a little more creative, and take life a little lighter. Parenthood can be tricky but as much as we’re here to teach them, they’re also here to teach us.

 

Learning how to ride a bike is one of the first tasks in a child’s life where they naturally persevere on their own. More often than not it’s a social influence from their peers or siblings, but it’s usually the first of many tasks that they explore independently. They start off with their goal of riding a bike and decide how they want to reach it – whether it be training wheels or a daring cold turkey experience. Sure they fall down, they scrape their knees, but with our encouragement, they continue trying until those two wobbly wheels even out. Once the magical moment of a successful bike ride happens, they are then able to see the results of working hard and not giving up when things get tough for themselves.

 

As much as it’s a proud moment for them, it’s just as much of a learning experience for us. It’s one of the first tasks that we can’t do for them when things get tough. We are learning how to support them through the experience as they learn how to work towards their goals. This example can be applied to many other learning experiences in life as well like learning how to read, write or count.

 

As parents, some could even say we persevere through parenthood. Let’s face it, it’s not always easy and it can be really confusing at times, but at the end of the day we all have the same goal of raising our children to be the best they can be. Practicing and persevering is what helps us grow and reach our goals.

We were inspired by a couple of articles that you may find interesting:

 

5 Parenting Strategies to Develop a Growth Mindset  (@imaginationsoup)

 

Teach your child how to persevere (@theMomiverse)

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