The way children ask for help influences the way they complete a task and, consequently, a way you can instill the value of persistence in them. In fact, a recent study (Foster-Hanson, 2018), published in the journal Child Development, reveals that encouraging children to “help” instead of asking them to “be helpers or collaborators”, will motivate them to keep it up in spite of any challenge they may encounter.
The research, conducted by a team of scientists from the University of New York, suggests the use of verbs when talking to children about actions. Also, encouraging them to help, read and paint, can help increase their resilience after the setbacks they’ll inevitably experience.
The results are a bit different from those of another 2014 study. This one showed that asking children to be “helpers” instead of asking “for help” encourages them to help more. The difference between the 2014 study and the newer one is that the one in 2018 evaluated what happened after the children experienced setbacks when trying to help. It underlines how your language choice definitely affects a child’s persevereance.
This research, according to Emily Foster-Hanson, one of the main authors of the study, shows how talking to children about the measures they can take to succeed can encourage their persistence after any setbacks. At least a lot more than talking to children about the many identities they can assume.
Instilling the value of perseverance in children at a young age will help and guide them throughout the many challenges they might encounter. These are some pointers you can use to teach your children the value of persistence:
Children will be more interested in persistence when they hear about it on a regular basis, especially as they get older. The more they hear about it and see it’s results, the more they’ll be willing to learn and understand what it means.
It’s very complicated to teach perseverance without having a positive attitude, even if it seems that your child isn’t getting it or shows little interest. You’re responsible for keeping their morale high. Children, sooner or later, will be “infected” by your positive attitude.
Children learn more by watching you than from what they hear from you. That is why it’s very important to be aware of what you say and do. In this regard, be aware that you’re constantly setting examples and that these can be good or bad. Everything an adult does is a valuable learning experience for a child.
Having responsibilities since they’re young is a great way to learn the value of persistence. Thus, it’s important to begin by giving them simple tasks that are well suited for their age.
Learning perseverance is also about learning independence. Don’t rescue your child when they struggle to do something. You’re not doing them any favor by lifting them through; they can climb on their own if they really want to.Similarly, let them assume all the responsibility they can assume when you do help them. For example, let them get dressed and select their own clothes, even if you later help them tie their shoelaces.
It’s very important for a child to face challenges they can overcome, even if it’s hard. If they never succeed at anything, their persistence will hardly increase.
When children are used to easily getting their way, then they’ll learn to discard anything that requires an effort on their part. In fact, many learn what they need to do to keep themselves from straining. For instance, they’ll learn it from making progress in the educational system because others help them do their homework, to getting to a new level on their video game by watching tutorials on YouTube.
Thus, it may not be easy to convey the idea that the goal isn’t what matters but instead what they achieve and the way in which they achieve it. However, this is a basic foundation when it comes to instilling the value of persistence in children. This is why it’s so important that adults know how to reward their efforts, just like we know to praise them and reward them when they achieve something all by themselves.
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