How do you teach your children perseverance?
Disney has the ability to entertain and to teach our children great lessons. Just moments ago I heard Jungle Junction teaching my kids this message:
“We can do it. We can do it if we try. If it doesn’t work the first time we’ll try twice as hard the next time. Cause we can do it if we try.”
The truth is, I don’t agree 100%.
About 10 years ago I was watching a day time talk show of a celebrity interview (I can’t remember who the celebrity was) and she said this:
“When I’m trying really hard to do something and it’s just not working I stop trying. I take that obstruction to be a sign from the universe that it just wasn’t meant to be”.
That statement hit a home run with me. So much so, that now if I’m trying to open a jar of pickles and it just won’t open…I take that as a sign to not eat pickles.
I’m not saying I’ve become a complete non-committal flake. I’m saying that sometimes some things just weren’t meant to be. Life shouldn’t be so hard and so frustrating. And honestly, I really don’t need to eat pickles.
The obvious problem now is how do I teach my children the ideals of perseverance when I don’t believe in them in all situations myself?
I’ve found myself teaching my son to stop trying something when he gets frustrated. I know that I’m trying to teach him to not allow himself to get so frustrated by taking a break. Nothing is worth getting so frustrated over and we can control our emotions by removing the cantankerous variable.
However, I’m afraid that I’m not teaching him how to preservere enough. I’m afraid I’m raising a non-committal flake. I want my children to be hard workers that don’t give up. I want them to be successful and I know that success takes commitment. I want them to understand the difference between knowing what’s worth fighting for and what isn’t.
However, when they hit a bump on the road to success, how will they know if it’s a sign to choose a different direction? And how will they know if the bump is just a bump and they can keep going forward?
Or what if they’re in a relationship with someone and it’s not going so great. How will they know if that relationship is worth working on to keep it going?
What if they’re trying and trying and trying to be good at something and it’s just not happening. When will they know to stop trying so hard to be good at whatever it was and try something else instead?
Or what if they’re trying to make a sandwhich and they’d really like pickles but they can’t open the jar? Will they keep trying to open the jar even if it takes forever and the bread goes stale in the wait?
How do I teach my children which situations are worth fighting for and which situations are not?
side note: I’ve never purchased a jar of pickles. That was merely an example.