Red lights, grocery store lines and take away all have one thing in common. Waiting. I don’t like waiting. When my trolley is full and I’m ready to pay, I want the fastest, shortest line. I like efficiency! I want the job done, and I want time for the next thing. Perseverance either in the grocery store line or in enduring challenges is hard!
We can be quick to opt out of challenges that require perseverance. We can be quick to remove those challenges from our students also. Our default can be to think that if we remove the hard stuff, life is easier and better. But whilst not having to do hard things is nice, we actually miss out on the benefits that perseverance brings.
Did you know that when children persevere the neurotransmitter dopamine is released. Your nervous system uses dopamine to send messages in the brain. When we persevere these messages both reinforce that positive behaviour and provide an internal link for the formation of good habits. As part of our internal reward system, dopamine gets released when we achieve or persevere through something. This chemical plays a huge role in how we feel! So when a child perseveres through hard things, their brain triggers a release of dopamine, leaving them feeling rewarded and satisfied.
The bible also affirms this in Lamentations 3:25 which says “It’s a good thing to quietly hope, quietly hope for help from GOD. It’s a good thing when you’re young to stick it out through the hard times.”
So when your child is struggling to independently unpack their school bag, tie their shoe laces, complete their homework or solve that problem in maths, encourage them to persevere.