Many children have set out to accomplish something–sports, music, good grades–only to realize that the path is uphill and the prize is not free. Certainly, you’ve experienced seeing excited eyes and faces as your children share dreams of accomplishing some new endeavor; then, you later see the frustration and hear those distressed words, “I can’t.” This is the time when being a parent counts.
Children need to feel successful. The actual accomplishment of a task is not as important as the work they do to accomplish it. You may need to help your child adjust a goal, or you may need to give an explanation about why he or she can’t fly to the moon tomorrow on a rocket, but it’s important for you to find a way to help your child experience the satisfaction of persevering to the end.
As the close of the school year approaches, consider working on the following three “Be’s” that will help your children develop perseverance.
- · Be interested. There’s a reason kids say, “Daddy, watch this!” Children never really outgrow the need to know that you care about what they do. Show that you want them to be successful.
- · Be a teacher. Parents are teachers. Kids have classrooms at school, but the laboratory for learning is the home. You don’t need chalkboards, fancy technology, or advanced degrees in math or reading to teach your children. Simply watch for, and take advantage of, teaching moments–a chance to encourage, lift, explain, or share one of your life’s experiences.
- · Believe. Your children can do anything. Do you believe it? Children can tell. Give them the gift of truly believing in them, and then brace yourself for them to do things that may astound you.