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Lifeskills Letters



Hooray for Lifeskills Patience and Perseverance

November 04, 2019
By Lauren Conway

Hooray for Lifeskills!

“Babe Ruth struck out 1,330 times….keep swinging!”.  This quote is prominently displayed in my father’s office in the home where I grew up.  This is also a character trait that he encouraged (insisted) my brother and I learn and live by, but I have to say, some days were harder than others.  The Lifeskills of Patience and Perseverance are traits that oftentimes can be difficult to come by, especially in the fast paced, instant gratification world we live in today.   We don’t know an answer to a question.... ask Alexa.  We have to ask a friend a favor.... text her.  You want to watch that cute puppy video online?  Let’s hope it doesn’t take more than a few seconds to load.  Researchers have found that subjects online were willing to wait only a mere 2 seconds before some began to abandon the site.  But the largest number of participants, 50%, clicked off the site when their patience ran out after...... 10 SECONDS! 1   No wonder some of us have such a hard time being patient and persevering.  While the students and staff at The Walden School explore Patience and Perseverance over these next two weeks, I have listed some ideas below that can help stretch these very important Lifeskills.

Introduce and Define “Patience” and “Perseverance”.  Ask your child this week if they know what these two Lifeskills mean.  What do they look like; what do they sound like; how do they feel?  Point out examples in your everyday lives where these traits are used or even times when they’re not being used!  How can we expect them to demonstrate these traits if they are unsure of what they even mean?

Model, Model, Model.  As hard as this can be sometimes, modeling the behavior we want to see from our children is the best way for them to learn new skills.  “Do as I do” is always more powerful than “Do what I say”.  

“Keep Swinging” Lingo.  In the upcoming weeks, some classrooms will be discussing the importance of positive self talk.  When the going gets tough we have to be our own biggest cheerleader.  Teaching children to use phrases such as “I can do it!”, “Keep going”, and “I won’t give up” will help them remain patient and persevere when things get difficult.  You could even vote on a favorite phrase to use as your own family motto. 2

Don’t Jump In.  While it can be extremely difficult to see your child struggle through something that is difficult for them to do, always swooping in to save them from uncomfortable feelings will only teach them that it’s OK to stop trying.  Encouraging children to use coping skills when things are tough will help them in handling their next difficult challenge. 

Trying to slow down as the world around us speeds up is not that easy, but instilling the Lifeskills of Patience and Perseverance in our students now, can help them be more successful in the future.  Babe Ruth once said “every strike brings me closer to the next home run”.  So let’s keep swinging! 

~Lauren Conway, School Counselor



1 Muther, C.  February 02, 2013.  Instant Gratification is Making us Perpetually Impatient.  The Boston Globe

2 Borba, M.  1999.  Adapted from Parents Do Make A Difference: How to Raise Kids with Solid Character, Strong Minds, and Caring Hearts. Jossey-Bass Publishers.