Thursday, January 14, 2010

Teaching children about persistence

Both children and adults have more power when they understand the meaning of powerful words, like persistence.

I often tell children in our classes, "Kidpower is teaching you persistence, which means not giving up. We want you to use your persistence to set boundaries and to get help if you need it."

Then I have everyone repeat after me, "Everybody say, 'persistence'!'"

Now, some children know how to persist, but they do it in negative ways by whining and getting upset when they don't get their way. Our job as adults is to help them learn how to persist in positive ways and how to accept disappointment gracefully.

Adults can help children learn to use their persistence by:
  • Giving them opportunities to overcome challenges;
  • Complimenting them when they are persisting in a positive way;
  • Telling them if they get discouraged that even if something doesn't work that you are proud of them for using their persistence and trying their best;
  • Guiding them to be persistent and positive by asking them to use a regular voice instead of whining; and
  • Helping them deal with disappointment by telling them you admire their persistence even if they are not going to get what they want.

I'd love to have your ideas and stories about different ways of teaching children to persist appropriately and positively.
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