How to Teach Kids Perseverance and Goal-Setting

When Kids Fall Short

So your child wanted to improve in math, but he got another C on the latest test. Now what? Try these steps.

  • Review the goal with your child. Maybe it was too vague or too ambitious.
  • Ask your child for suggestions. Children are more likely to follow through on their own ideas about what else they can do.
  • Help envision the benefits. Ask: "What do you think it will feel like to do better on the next test?"
  • Share your childhood frustrations. Your child might feel better when you tell him about your difficulties learning fractions.
  • Compliment him. Even if your child doesn't get the A he hoped for, make sure to praise him for trying ("I'm so proud of how hard you studied!").
  • Don't use threats or bribes. Offering a video game in exchange for an A, or a punishment for a D, won't help your child's follow-through in the long run.

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