My dad taught me many things. One of the most valuable life lessons I learned from him was the importance of perseverance. World War II leader Winston Churchill understood the importance of perseverance as well. In the darkest days of World War II, Churchill gave a speech at his old school. He walked to the podium, surveyed the crowd of awe-struck students, and said “Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense.”
So, we should live lives of perseverance and teach our children to do the same. Quitting should not be an option except in rare circumstances. Here are 10 things to consider while teaching your child if or when to quit.
1. Listening to your child.
Have your child explain to you why they want to quit. Really listen to what they are saying, gently ask questions, and empathize with how they are feeling.
2. Understanding the entire story.
One source of information is never enough. Sure, you need to listen to your child with an understanding ear. It’s also necessary to listen to their teacher, coach, or whoever you need to in order to make sure you have all the facts.
3. The significance of commitment.
We want to teach our children to always keep their commitments. It’s important for our children to understand the importance of following through with everything they say they’ll do.
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4. Persistence is a key to success in work and in life.
Thomas Edison famously “failed” 10,000 times on his way to inventing the light bulb. What if he had simply quit along the way?
5. Perseverance must be taught now.
If children don’t learn to follow through now when they have our support, will they do it when they’re on their own?
6. Quitting on impulse is rarely the right choice.
Encourage your child to be patient. Help them to understand that spending a bit more time reflecting on things usually results in a better decision that they won’t regret in the long run.
7. Children often quit for the wrong reason.
Try to get to the bottom of why your child wants to quit. Read between the lines. “It’s not fun anymore” may be code for, “Kids make fun of me.”
8. Challenging experiences can build strength.
Going through the fire can refine and mold your child’s character. Patience and perseverance are two virtues that your child can use throughout their life.
9. Precedence is important.
The more children quit before completing a task, the less likely they are to finish the next one. Quitting can quickly become habit forming.
10. Making the tough choice.
In rare cases, your child may need to make the difficult decision to walk away. Maybe an instructor or coach is having a negative influence on your child with their tirades, condescending attitude or foul language. Maybe your child has been asked to compromise the values you’ve taught them. If that’s the case, your child needs your support and your help to make a gracious exit.
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