Determination and Perseverance

It’s been some time since I’ve written a post on character traits and thought what better one to get on back on track with than determination and perseverance!

I believe these two traits go hand in hand. Determination is making a firm decision or resolve to accomplish something and perseverance is the ability to keep moving forward despite difficulties and challenges. I absolutely think that if we aren’t firm in our belief, the desire to persevere greatly diminishes.

This character trait can be especially difficult to teach because honestly, the best way to learn these skills is by experience, which often can place us in uncomfortable and stressful situations.  It’s hard to watch your child suffer through hardships, especially if we ourselves haven’t learned to cope in a healthy manner.  Life is full of trials and there is no escape from that. It has become extremely common for parents to step into their children’s lives in an attempt to “save” them from problems. I am not opposed to offering guidance and support to our children, but what good are we doing them if we jump in the water to rescue them the moment they start splashing?  Isn’t it better to teach them to swim?  I can’t be their lifeguard forever and neither can you.

The Burgess book series offers many opportunities to discuss perseverance and determination. A few examples include:

  • The Adventures of Grandfather Frog (Chapter 10): Grandfather Frog is determined to go out into the Great World even though he has never been there and knows nothing of the dangers that await him.
  • The Adventures of Jerry Muskrat (Chapter 14): Spotty the Turtle keeps going despite that he is the slowest.
  • The Adventures of Peter Cottontail (Chapters 18-22): Peter won’t give up until he finds out why his friends are so busy ahead of winter.


Books and activities for teaching determination and perseverance

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Below I’ve suggested some ways we can help prepare our children to not be victims of their circumstance, but to train them on the skills to overcome and press on. Do you have a strong-willed child?  Even though this can be challenging to deal with as a parent, it is an example of determination that can be beneficial to the child later in life!