MEGASKILL SIX: PERSEVERANCE
“It’s not enough to start–you have to finish.”
“Even when you feel like quitting, don’t.”
“Keep at it; you’ll get it.”
There will always be others who are more talented than we are, who are better looking, who have more education. Even with these benefits, they still need perseverance in order to accomplish & to create. Help children get into the habit of following through & finishing.
Perseverance is the difference between those who try & those who succeed.
We seem to accept the fact that our children have short attention spans. But we should emphasize building our children’s level & length of attention & their ability to concentrate over a period of time.
“I know you’ll make it.”
“You’re doing a great job.”
There are experiences that by their very nature teach perseverance. They can’t be done in a rush because they demand a level of detail & a passage of time.
Organise family photos in chronological order. What happened first? Second? Attach the pictures in an album with captions (explanations) that children can write.
Find all the important telephone numbers that would be useful to have in one place. Help your child alphabetise this list. Double-check this sheet. Then enter the names & numbers in the family telephone book.
Talk with children about changes in their weight & height as they grow older. Keep a family weekly weight check chart.
Learning to Work & Wait:
Time is a big element in perseverance. Children can practice getting beyond the need for immediate gratification, showing that they are willing to work & wait for results.
Activities that call upon children to wait are growing plants, watching their weight, learning a new skill, & preserving their health.
Everyone enjoys watching seeds sprout & come up through the earth. When they don’t, we can start again. The important point is that this activity helps children get practice in finishing a project they start. You need two or three packets of seeds, small pots or milk cartons cut down, a ruler, &, depending on the season & your household space, a sunny windowsill or outdoor garden.
Buy seeds or use seeds you have saved. Empty a few on the table beside each packet. Ask your children to look at the seeds & examine their size & color. Feel how hard they are.–Don’t let them eat the seeds. Talk about the differences. Ask children to fill each pot with about two inches of soil. Plant a few seeds in each. Place the pots on a sunny windowsill. Together read the directions on the seed packet. Talk about what you have to do to be sure the seeds grow. Water the seeds as the directions say. Then, day by day, watch for the seeds to begin to sprout. Seeds grow slowly. It will take about ten days to see them.
Good & Good for You–ages 4-9
This activity helps young children get into the habit of eating healthy foods. Nutritious snack foods include carrot sticks & raisins, bananas rolled in chopped peanuts, celery stuffed with peanut butter, tomato or cucumber slices topped with cheese, raw vegetables with cheese dip, raisins & nut mixes etc.
Set aside part of a refrigerator shelf for children to use for these special snack foods. In this way children can make their own healthy snacks.
Check family weights. Who’s the heaviest? The lightest? Try recording weight changes in a week’s time. This is good math practice, too.
Exercise Plan–any age
Plan & carry out a family exercise program. List one or two exercises each person can do regularly. Make up a plan for a week-long, practical exercise routine.
What we ask our children to do is what we must be willing to do.
When children hang up their clothes or put away the dishes that’s school-work. School achievement depends on a child’s ability to see a job through to completion.
Children can get into the habit of not finishing what they start. I am not convinced that we always have to finish what we start, but we have to learn to finish many things. There should be some jobs that children know they have to complete.
Children need to learn that things don’t happen all at once, & sometimes not even very quickly. Reaching a goal may take time & long days of effort & continuing work, but it’s worth it!