How To Instill Perseverance In Your Kids, When You’re A Serial Quitter
Perseverance … ah… this one is a tricky one. I’ve told my kids it means “working hard and never giving up.”
This virtue and my lack of authority in this area became abundantly clear this week. Larson wanted to quit soccer and she shed some real tears. My response was inspiring. “Ok – you don’t have to keep doing soccer.”
Here’s what I was thinking… That’s fine. Because I don’t like going places three times a week. And I don’t like when you cry. And if you truly don’t like it – then that’s cool. Come to mama.
However, it did start weighing on my heart (with a little help from her coach and my husband who have a stronger perseverance and hard work muscle). I started realizing the fact that she was letting her team down and her coach and that she needed to learn to push through a commitment. I KNEW it was the right thing to do – but I also felt torn. She is 8 years old (9 this week!) and she’s just a kid.
Does it really matter in her lifetime that she quits rec soccer?
These things are so complicated and we can second guess it so much. Each kid is different. Larson is the kid who doesn’t mind pain and hard work – so it’s very rare she quits or complains.
Does hard work matter to me? Does pushing through matter? Yes! of course!
Does it also matter to me that my kids enjoy their childhood? And they don’t feel so much pressure to do it all and do things for US? And they can try things and many sports? Yes!
So – we had a plan. You need to go to one more game Larson – your coach needs you today. The team needs you. And then he wants to talk to you and then we will decide.
My brave little Larson woke up and headed to the game. And I was in the bed sick and missed it. Ugh.
Wouldn’t you know it…. the sport she wanted to quit roughly one hour before…
SHE SCORED THREE GOALS! THREE GOALS!
The most she has ever scored. Ever.
As I got the text from Ron – I just smiled. Of course she did. It was like a storybook unfolding. Proving to her and me that we all know hard work pays off and it matures us and grows us. And sometimes even blesses us.
After the game, she was pretty pumped. Her sister was so excited. Her dad. Her grandparents. Her coach was of course excited because he was torn too. HE KNEW her potential and he really loves her on this team.
These answers aren’t always easy for our kids – but as I look back on my own life, I can remember being super proud of the times I pushed beyond my comfort zone. The other side of struggle and hard work is something we can only learn from persevering. I’m super glad my kids are stronger than I am and that every now and then they carry on and prove that.
What are your thoughts on this virtue? Does it come easy for you? Easy for your kids?
Do you have to let up on pushing them so hard ? or do you find yourself letting them out of everything hard?
Virtue Cards can be found here – great way to keep the conversation going with your kiddos around the dinner table.
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