Do you know why it’s hard to teach your kids perseverance?
Because the rest of the world is built around instantly fulfilling their every need.
Do you remember Blockbuster Video? You had absolutely no guarantee they would have the movie you wanted to rent. It was very likely that some other punk in your town beat you to the one copy of Back to the Future Part II.
Upon finding the empty case, you would curse your bad luck and then wait a few days until the video came back to the store. You had to persevere.
That might seem like an incredibly minor form of perseverance. It hardly fits the way we define the word here at Parent Cue. Were you really refusing to give up when life gets hard? Maybe not, but you did have to wait. You did have to try again. You did get reminded that the world is not structured around fulfilling your every need.
Fast forward to today and things are a lot different. If my phone takes longer than .05 seconds to look something up, I am frustrated. If the show my kids want to watch isn’t on Netflix, they feel a little impatient. If someone doesn’t respond to my text immediately, I am bothered.
We live in an on-demand world, but great things usually take great time.
It’s our job as parents to teach our kids that the things that really matter require perseverance.
You don’t get great relationships unless you work on them over time.
You don’t get great at a sport unless you practice even when you don’t feel like it.
You don’t get into a great college unless you start planning long before the application is due.
Despite what Siri might tell us, life is not instant and it is not always easy.
We’ve got to play for the long game.
When our kids want to quit on a school project, we have to remind them why sticking with it matters more.
When they want to give up on a friendship because their feelings got hurt, we have to remind them real relationships go through bumpy moments.
When they want to let go of a passion because practice isn’t fun, we have to show them the value of hard work.
As the rest of the world becomes impatient, a little bit of perseverance will pay dividends for years to come.