Teaching Grit & Perseverance to Kids

“Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.”

Newt Gingrich

Perseverance for kids can be seen in the simplest things they do, from tying their shoelaces successfully to correctly answering their math homework after many unsuccessful tries.

But no matter how small it is, achieving their goals by working hard and not giving up is a feat that needs to be praised and encouraged.

When you see your kids trying their best and actually reaching what they are aiming for, your heart will surely feel like bursting with pride and happiness.

But the success that children achieve is not the only thing that you should be happy about.

With this kind of hard work and determination shown by your kids, perseverance is developed.

Why is Perseverance Important?

Perseverance is described as the determination to work hard in order to succeed with something, regardless of any obstacle that comes your way.

It is quite easy to understand why we need to have perseverance in life.

This trait helps us focus on things and don’t allow us to easily give up. And it is a key ingredient to being successful in life.

The value of perseverance can be easily understood from the following:

  • It is something that helps us become successful without the need for a college diploma or any kind of training.
  • It helps us finish things and complete tasks.
  • Because of perseverance, we learn things and move forward.
  • It allows us to learn from experiences or failures
  • It helps us practice and master things.
  • When perseverance is developed, a number of other traits and values are also developed. These include self-confidence, self-reliance, resilience and resourcefulness.

What Stops Children from Developing Perseverance?

Anyone will agree when we say developing perseverance is a must if you want to be successful in life.

However, even if you agree with the importance that this trait has, understanding what hinders your kids from developing it needs to be learned, too.

When you understand what factors decreases your children’s chances of developing perseverance, you can strive to keep on teaching our children and be consistent in showing them ways to nurture their characters into someone who does not easily quit.

These are some of the factors that do the opposite of developing perseverance:

  1. Negative self-thought. Sometimes, what limits our capabilities is our own self. And with children, while they can think that they can do anything, they can also easily succumb to negativity and feel discouraged. And this can be intensified when they start to talk negatively, thus quitting becomes the fastest option.
  2. Impatience. It is no secret how impatient children can get. Did you ever count how many times you answered a kid’s “are we there, yet?” when you are traveling? While this can simply be associated with excitement, it, unfortunately, can cause a child to give up on something without even trying his best. A child can be impatient enough to just get things over and done with without a care if he is successful or not.
  3. Instant gratification mindset. Directly related to impatience, thinking that they can have anything in an instant will easily make children walk out on something if they can’t get it right away.
  4. Laziness. This factor can also be associated with impatience and having the mindset of instant gratification. Moreover, when children feel lazy, they simply want to receive something without working hard for it.
  5. Negative people. If your child is not influence with the above factors but is surrounded by people who do, chances are he will follow suit or shy away from perseverance.

These not only prevent children from developing perseverance, but also take away so many important qualities and values that everyone, not just children, need to have in life in order to be happy and successful.

And being aware of these factors can help you eliminate them early and find effective ways of instilling and nurturing perseverance, along with the many traits that go with it.

How can Perseverance be Developed?

Kids need to understand and know their own capabilities to develop a “no quitting” kind of character. And when they do, it can be quite rewarding.

Steer your kids in the right direction to develop perseverance with these tips:

Let your child envision the end result
Kids can be easily motivated and feel like they can finish any task easily and quickly.

However, once they started it, they can put it down and give up just as easily.

The key to letting your child persevere with challenging tasks is to let him envision the goal and the end result. This will motivate him to continue with what he is doing and not get discouraged.

Break the bigger tasks into smaller, achievable ones
It can be overwhelming for kids to do a big task, especially when it is also hard for their young selves.

And this big feeling can push him into giving up on the task.

However, when such tasks are broken down into smaller, but still challenging ones, children can feel empowered when they successfully complete a task and will continue doing another until everything gets done.

And don’t forget to give praises with each accomplishment, no matter how small it may seem.

Provide activities that teach perseverance
Anytime can be the perfect opportunity to develop perseverance in your child.

The following activities encourage self-help:
 Playing puzzles and blocks
 Playing sports
 Going through an obstacle course
 Reading or watching videos that demonstrate perseverance


What’s so great about these activities is that you can simply insert them during playtime or when you are relaxing in the living room.

And both you and your child will have fun when doing so.

Make saying proactive phrases a habit


These phrases include “try again!”, “just keep swimming”, “I think I can, I know I can”, “I can do it” and “practice makes perfect”.

These phrases are especially helpful during challenging times, where having a negative mindset is common.

You can let your child repeat these phrases when he is facing a difficult task or when his inner voice turns negative and tells him to give up.

Be a role model
Being a role model of perseverance can just be the best way of teaching this value to your child.

The phrase “children are great imitators” might be overused, but it certainly works in this aspect.

When your child sees you struggling with something but are able to handle the challenge, he will also find it in himself to follow your footsteps.

Show your child how you handle difficulties or tell him stories about how you managed to overcome obstacles when you were his age.

Tell your child stories of famous people who persevered
Find out stories of perseverance about your child’s favorite people.

For instance, Albert Einstein became one of the greatest minds of all time despite not being able to speak until he was 4 years old and failing his entrance exam to the Swiss Federal Polytechnic School when he was 16 years old.

And there is Jim Carrey, who is a famous and talented comedic actor for years. He grew up extremely poor that he even had to work as a janitor. But that did not stop him from becoming who he is today.

It is true that everyone makes mistakes.

But what is important is that we keep trying until we get it right.

Perseverance is intuitive in children.

But you need to encourage and nurture it so it grows and enables your kids to be successful in life.

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