Dr. Rich Patterson

Parenting on Purpose: Perseverance

In part four of my series Parenting on Purpose, I would like to address perseverance.  How do you keep going when you don’t feel like it?  This life-skill is best taught by example to your kids.  When I think of how I learned perseverance, I credit my dad for teaching me this. My dad was a very hard worker and we often worked side-by-side on projects.  When I would feel like stopping, I would look over at my dad, hot, tired and sweaty and how he was still going and it would inspire me to do the same.

Determination can be learned best while doing something that you love.  For me that was playing music.  Learning to play the piano, which I still play today, or the drums and percussion instruments is a long haul.  There are no shortcuts!  You can’t push a button or decide to slack off and then one day give it your all and become a good musician.  It takes daily dedication, persistence and determination over time with consistency in order to be successful.  This was my vehicle in life to learn perseverance.  For many kids it is sports, or martial arts, something along those lines.  Maybe it is a particular subject in school like math or science.  Help your child to find their vehicle for delivering this skill to their life and they will forever thank-you.

I am a high altitude snowmobiler and it certainly takes perseverance to reach a summit and enjoy the view.  The view often looks very much like the path that this woman is running toward.  It takes all my strength, it takes knowledge of snow, safety, avalanches, snow conditions and history of the weather in a particular area.  It takes a great amount of skill to learn how to ride at high altitude.  In short, it takes perseverance.

How has perseverance served you in your life?  What race, so to speak, have you run, which you could have never completed without perseverance?  Share that with your child and help them to find their vehicle that will deliver a long term dedication, a grit, an insistence, or resolution, to reach a goal.  This serves kids well throughout their life as they face obstacles, difficulties, set-backs and times when they feel stretched to the limit.  They will have the perseverance to keep going when others will quit long before them.

It is a life-skill for which there are no shortcuts.  Perseverance includes a dedication, almost a devotion to tireless endurance.  I hope that you will show your kids this important skill which will benefit them forever.

Yours for Better Parenting,

Rich