How to teach children to be persistent?

One of the advantages of teaching children to be persistent is related to learning in the search for solutions throughout the process. Find out how to accompany them on this path.

Last update: 08 November, 2021

“Everyone sees your success, but not your effort”. This phrase refers to the fact that many times the achievement of reaching the goal clouds or obscures the day-to-day effort; those little steps called persistence. What is it about? Since when did it develop? How to teach children to be persistent? Learn a little more in this note.

What does it mean to be persistent?

Persistence is about consistency, with staying doing, in the ring. It implies not giving up when it gets difficult and encouraging yourself to go for more, overcoming challenges.

Persistence is also related to tenacity and effort. It requires having a long-term vision, to value a greater objective, beyond the gratification of the day to day.

Persistence involves learning to choose, since many times we must give up some things. For example, if I want to perform well in training on Saturday morning, I’ll have to get a good rest on Friday night, even if I really want to attend a birthday late.



Advantages of being persistent

Persistence has the benefit of going hand in hand with satisfaction. Either for having reached the goal or for having tried.

Many new things are learned along the way, especially oneself. Various skills are developed and sometimes people meet as well.

Therefore, in general, persistence tends to have a positive balance. However, for this to be the case, it is always recommended to work on the different emotions involved in the process, in such a way as to foster tolerance for frustration.

Another advantage of teaching children to be persistent has to do with the fact that they will encounter difficulties along the way and this will allow them to seek solutions. In this way, they learn to solve situations; something very useful for when they have to do it in other areas, such as school.

For the passage through the educational institution it is very important that children know persistence and how to use it.

Keys to helping children be persistent

It is very important to teach children to be persistent, since it is a value that will accompany them throughout life, both personally and professionally. Here are some ways to do this that are meant to be a guide for parents:

  • Help them regulate (so that later they can do it alone). It is important for children to know that when they are tired or something happens to them, they can take a break. Persistence is about having continuity, but not at any cost. Sometimes, to keep going, you have to know when to stop. The process has to be more valuable and enjoyable than the result itself.
  • Don’t interrupt them. When children are on a task, we often interrupt them and ask them to do something else. This deconcentrates them and disconnects them from what they are doing; just something that goes against benefiting persistence.
  • Accompany them. One of the best ways to motivate persistence is to think of activities in pairs to motivate them and make them feel supported. For example, if you like tennis a lot, but are lazy to go to classes on Saturday mornings, you can take the opportunity to coordinate an activity also at the club and be a company.
  • Visualize the goal. If you help them visualize how it feels to achieve a goal, if they can fantasize about that result, they will surely be more motivated.
  • Trust is the foundation. To show the value of persistence it is important that they trust themselves. We can achieve that if they notice that we trust them too. In this way, it is important to make them participate in different household tasks so that they learn to take responsibility. So that they are not frustrated, activities that go from a minor to a greater degree of complexity can be proposed.
  • Each child has his time. This is essential to understand, as imposing the times of the adult world on your own rhythm reflects impatience and causes anxiety.
  • Congratulate them on their achievements and their effort. Of course, beyond praising the goal achieved, it is also necessary to recognize effort, time and persistence.

It is good to stimulate the spirit of improvement and growth, but it is just as important to learn to manage emotions when things do not go the way you want. On the other hand, it will also be necessary to teach about respect for others.

There’s no need stepping on heads on the way to achieving the objectives. That is, it is necessary to educate in healthy competition.

Accompanying children in their activities is a way of sharing persistence with them.


Don’t romanticize persistence in children

Let’s acknowledge the benefits of persistence, but also be honest that it is often difficult and costly. Let’s talk about it with the boys and girls.

There will be days when it will be much more rewarding to stay in bed than to get up to do your homework. They should not feel guilty or bad about this.. What we can do is offer them resources and alternatives to motivate persistence and perceive the benefit.

In this sense, it is important that the reference adults do not get frustrated or give up before the children, since they can understand that they are not capable. For this reason, it is also necessary for these adults to review the style of education and upbringing they have for the little ones.

For example, parents with an authoritarian style will tend to frustrate and discourage their children more often. While those that are democratic in style will be an important source of motivation.