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Teaching Perseverance

“Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.”

— Ralph Waldo Emerson


Tears have been a part of our daily lives every few weeks for the past four years. Almost like clockwork, Tuesday afternoons will find us in our house listening to a combination of pickings of keys on the piano and the tears that follow the wrong notes. I have a child who expects to get things right the first time she attempts something; when she does not, her world turns upside down and the tears flow. Because she has piano practice Monday mornings, she practices new pieces Tuesday afternoons. Those days are filled with tears when the music does not sound like it did the day before when her teacher played it for her. Never mind the fact that her teacher has been playing for decades; my daughter expects to get it right the first time.

Teaching perseverance is difficult. It is hard to continue moving forward when every step you take feels wrong. It is overwhelming to keep going when you feel lost and alone. But, conquering perseverance is a requirement for growing up. We have to have the ability to move forward in spite of feeling incompetent and unsure.

As adults, we have a responsibility to teach the children and teenagers in our lives the beauty of perseverance.  Life will be filled with moments of failure. If we have not taught our children to continue in the face of those failures, we will never put them in a place to enjoy success.

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