Try, try, try again: Perseverance

“The rule is: finish your homework before you play your video game.”

“You need to keep playing that new song on the piano until you get it right.”

“If you want to make the team, you will have to practice your swing.”

Most parents, including those quoted above, know that perseverance is a trait that will help their children succeed in school and, ultimately, in life.

Why is Perseverance Important?

Perseverance implies that a person will persist with a task even when he would rather do something else or when the task becomes difficult. It can make the difference between a child who gives up and one who completes what he sets out to do.

Children who persevere:
Perservere cycle

  • believe that they are competent and able to master their environment.

  • know they can handle challenges.

  • see themselves as focused and determined.

  • are trustworthy because they do what they say they will do.

  • set goals and work toward achieving them.

  • are more willing to take risks in trying new and difficult situations.


Having such a self-concept is builds on itself. As a child continues to keep at it when the “going gets rough,” he is more likely to meet with success, which encourages him to try hard the next time he is facing a difficult task. He becomes optimistic that his efforts and perseverance will pay off.


How Can Parents Foster Perseverance in Their Children?

Part of a parent’s job is to help their children develop the traits that will help them to be successful. You can use your influence as your children’s most important teacher to help them acquire the important trait of perseverance.

  • When you see your children persisting with a difficult task or following through with an assignment, even when they would have preferred doing something else, PRAISE them for their effort. PRAISE their effort, not just the finished product.

  • Tell your child why the particular task, job, chore, assignment, etc. is important.

  • Let your children know you count on them to do what they say they will do.

  • Model perseverance and point it out to your children when you are persistent. Model an optimistic attitude toward managing challenges.

  • Use everyday situations to highlight examples of perseverance: stories on the news, television, in books, famous people your children may admire.

  • Help your children to set goals and to break larger tasks into smaller, more manageable pieces so that they do not get overwhelmed. Praise each successful step along the way toward reaching the final goal.

  • Let them know it is alright to make mistakes and that mistakes are for learning. They can persevere after making a mistake, using what they learned to help them move forward.

  • Re-frame difficult tasks as positive challenges worth mastering.

Hang in there. Be persistent. Don’t give up. Eventually your children will learn to persevere.


By Audrey Krisbergh, Certified Parenting Educator



For more information about children and chores, check out the following books. Purchasing from through our website supports the work we do to help parents do the best job they can to raise their children.

How Much is Enough? by Jean Illsley Clarke Kids Are Worth It by Barbara Coloroso  Pick Up Your Socks by Elizabeth Crary

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