Perseverance: How Your Kids Can Overcome Hardship

By Danny Huerta, MSW, LCSW, LSSW
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Perseverance is an overlooked but essential quality that parents need to instill in their children

“I quit!”

Most parents have witnessed moments when their child has encountered an obstacle that seems impossible to overcome. Although it’s sometimes good for children to wrestle with the question of whether to continue with an activity or in an unhealthy friendship, kids who learn to wisely face difficulty will mature and grow in perseverance.

Some kids naturally thrive when faced with challenges, while others feel unprepared. These children who have trouble persevering often haven’t learned to manage common emotions such as boredom and disappointment. Since these emotions are part of everyone’s life, we should avoid shielding our kids from every challenge they face.

Indeed, a big goal of parenting is to teach kids how to effectively process these challenges by seeing them through a new lens.

Challenge represents opportunity

When your child faces challenges, help him learn to become a creative problem-solver. Practice this skill whenever problems come up, whether it’s thinking of ways to get a football out of a tree or resolving a conflict with a friend.

In our home, my wife and I often say to our children, “Everything has a solution. You just have to find it.” We may eventually help our kids find a solution, but we always allow them time to develop their own solutions first, nurturing a trust in God’s guidance and wisdom along the way.

I can only be me

Kids crave the confidence that comes from knowing they are good at something, and an overlooked component of perseverance is understanding where one’s potential really lies. Aim to guide your children through an honest, humble inventory of their skills and talents. Many kids have important abilities, but they are diminished in their minds because they don’t think their peers value these qualities. So show them why these talents matter.

Success is built on failure

When your child fails, acknowledge the raw feelings, even as you aim to move her toward more constructive thoughts. It’s great to recognize a child’s talents, but teach her that any talent almost always requires refinement. Many winners first learn how to lose well so that they don’t panic when things unexpectedly go wrong.

When they are faced with hardship, our kids need to know they can bounce back. Failure develops humility and helps form mental toughness, if our kids allow it.

© 2018 Focus on the Family.

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Understand How to Respect and Love your Son Well

Why doesn’t my son listen to me? Have you ever asked that question? The truth is, how you see your son and talk to him has a significant effect on how he thinks and acts. That’s why we want to help you. In fact, we’ve created a free five-part video series called “Recognizing Your Son’s Need for Respect” that will help you understand how showing respect, rather than shaming and badgering, will serve to motivate and guide your son.
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About the Author

Danny Huerta Media Profile
Danny Huerta, MSW, LCSW, LSSW

As vice president of the Parenting and Youth department, Danny oversees Focus’ initiatives that equip parents to disciple and mentor the next generation, so that they can thrive in Christ.

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