On National Never Give Up Day, we reflect on what it truly means to keep going, to believe in yourself, and to believe in others, even when things are hard.
It is essential to have faith in oneself in tough or easy times and the courage and strength to keep going. It is also important to know when you need help from others to get by!
Teaching your child these values at an early age can help them guide themselves through life’s difficulties and even help guide others. But how do we introduce and teach this value in an age-appropriate way?
The first step is to discuss what perseverance is with your child. What do they think of when they hear that word? What exactly does it look like to them or you?
It could be beneficial to find children’s books that discuss this topic. Look for books where the main character keeps working towards a goal and reaps the benefits after failing and succeeding! Continue the dialogue by asking your child if they have ever worked towards something and did not give up until they met their goal. How did this make them feel? Have they helped someone else accomplish something?
The next step is to live this way of life in front of your child/the whole family. Staying positive, problem-solving complex issues, and offering encouragement can rub off on your child. Be a great role model, and continue to practice this value for yourself and your child.
With this practice, do not be afraid to fail or make mistakes in front of your child. The most crucial concept of perseverance is to be able to dust yourself off and try again, even if it means trying something brand new or out-of-the-box!
Once you have exemplified what this value looks like in front of your child, it is time to give them age-appropriate responsibilities to work towards around the home. These should all be reachable goals and small milestones. Setting the table, turning off the TV at night, and helping a sibling are all simple ways to assign responsibility to a child. Offer encouragement, even when they fail, and resist the urge to rescue them when they do. A level of independence comes with perseverance: children should be able to trust themselves to pick themselves up again when they fail.
If you are tempted to help your child when they struggle to work through a situation, instead, think of ways you can provide opportunities for your child to succeed! If your child does ask for help with something, offer it without accomplishing the entire task for them.
In saying this, it is also great to take a break from things that seem hard to re-assess and re-evaluate. After taking a break, you might find that you or your child feel better about solving a situation with fresh eyes and a new approach!
Be persistent in your support of your child. Never give up on them throughout the process of their efforts. Offer them advice, guidance, and remind them that they are strong, confident, and capable of anything.
At The Nest Schools, we teach these values in our Art of Living program through acts of service, caring for things around us, and more.
We teach the value of helping others, cleaning toys, and even caring for our pets. Through these learned responsibilities, children can fail, find diverse ways to accomplish tasks, and then succeed!