Dr. Rich Patterson

Parenting on Purpose: Perseverance

In part four of my series Parenting on Purpose, I address perseverance.  How do you keep going when you don’t feel like it?  Teach this life skill to your kids by example.  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.

Learning determination naturally flows 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 long.  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 with consistency to succeed over time.  Consistency was my vehicle in life to learn perseverance.

The vehicle for many kids is sports, or martial arts, something along those lines.  Maybe it is a particular subject in schools like math or science.  Help your child 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 like the path in the photo above, where this woman runs uphill.  It takes all my strength; it takes knowledge of snow, safety, avalanches, snow conditions, and the history of the weather in a particular area.  It takes a significant amount of skill to learn how to ride high altitudes.  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 find their vehicle to deliver a long-term dedication, grit, insistence, or resolution to reach a goal.  This life skill serves kids well throughout their lives as they face obstacles, difficulties, setbacks, and times when they feel stretched to the limit.  They will have the perseverance to keep going when others quit long before them.

For another post in this series on Parenting on Purpose, click here, Parenting on Purpose: Influence #1 – Dr. Rich Patterson (

I have a link here for your interest on How to Build Influence with Kids, How to build influence with kids, and Teens Through Emotional Connection – Hey Sigmund.

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

Yours for Better Parenting,