Persistence in Parenting

When children are learning new skills, grown-ups can help them persist!

Caring for children is hard work. There’s always something to learn. And just when you think you’ve figured it all out or gotten into a steady routine, things change. It can be frustrating! Persistence isn’t just for kids. Grown-ups need to persist, too, especially in parenting. Try these strategies to help you work through challenging situations and to parent with confidence.

Offer Choices

Some days, daily activities and routines can present opportunities to practice persistence. When things aren’t going smoothly or when children aren’t cooperating, as much as you can, stay calm and try to change the energy of the situation by changing your approach. Instead of demanding, offer choices.

Correct with Kindness

When offering correction or trying to redirect your child, lead with a strength-based compliment. For example, you might say, “I’m so glad you’re determined to finish building that tower. Now it’s time for dinner. Can you help me set the table, and you can come back to this after we eat?”

Remember that your child is communicating through his behavior—even his unwanted behavior. Do your best to stay curious and try to discover (and affirm) his strengths!

Stay Positive

Having a positive outlook or an “I can do it!” attitude is tremendously helpful when trying to master new things. When your child (or you, for that matter) believes in her abilities, she’ll be more willing to continue trying. She knows that eventually she’ll be successful.

Cultivating positivity can take time though. An activity like the one in the graphic below can help you and your child practice positive thinking throughout the day, and especially during challenging times. Together with your child, write down a few mood-boosting ideas to practice when one of you is feeling frustrated or down.