All adults have goals and so do children. The child’s goal may not seem to have obstacles as large as our own – but they are obstacles nonetheless. Helping children reach their goals through perseverance may also require that we help them to understand 4 unseen obstacles that get in the way of both children and adults.
Let’s begin with a goal a child may have of wanting to be able to ride a bike with their friends. At the moment though they do not know how to ride and they may be getting very discouraged about not being able to ride. The quick answer is – they need to practice. But there are four things that may block them, that we can help them understand and overcome.
- They have not set a date to reach their goal of riding their bike. Not setting a goal with a deadline can be a deterrent. There have been many times that children in our school who need to learn to jump rope – have only accomplished the skill the night before their demonstration.
- The fear of failure, or even of success. Fear is one of the main reasons that many do not reach their goal. For children and bike riding it may be fear of getting hurt, or not being as good as their friends. It may be fear of the amount of work required or the perseverance needed.
- In line with fear is also the looking in the past and believing we will have the same results. Skills that we tried to learn in the past that did not come easily or we gave up on may haunt us and those failures become our reality. If we hold onto those fears, we may resent not getting it quickly and be very ready to give up soon.
- Finally not staying focused, boredom, or losing site of what we want – to be able to ride our bikes with our friends, may keep us from reaching our goal.
All of these require that we persevere. Perseverance is steady, goal-oriented persistence, despite challenges or obstacles. Helping our children to see how to use perseverance to overcome these common obstacles will be a great lesson for life.