What would you buy as a souvenir on a trip? Would you buy a 5x5 Rubik's cube? You would if you were one of my children. Why? was my question. Because it's cool was the response. We do have a Rubik's cube at home that has been picked up and put down, without being solved, a few times over the year. So I was a little bemused that this was their bring home choice from a recent school camp.
What I didn't expect was that they would pick up the 3x3 and spend most of their waking time over the last two days working at completing the cube. They have shown determination, enthusiasm, creativity and curiosity. They have researched the internet, explored apps and worked with their father (their mother is way to visual-spatially challenged to be of any assistance). Now they have started writing up their own instruction sheet. When they have been frustrated they have tried a different approach.
As a mum it's great to be able to step back and see this determination, to watch them developing a strength of perseverance. Why, because perseverance entails voluntarily finishing what you start, despite obstacles and with pleasure. It's not them finishing something after I've prompted and nagged. Perseverance increases self-confidence as they learn to trust their abilities.
Common steps needed to develop perseverance include.
I also pointed out to them that they are showing perseverance and how great that is to see.
As parents we can have a huge impact on helping our children develop perseverance. What are they passionate about? What goals could they set around this? How can they achieve these goals? Praise their efforts, help them work through their frustrations.
How long does it take to solve a Rubik's cube? I can't actually answer that question yet. But with they will get there.
* My aim is for these posts is meant to useful, interesting and/or inspiring. They are not designed to be used for therapy.. If you are experiencing stress please contact your GP or mental health professional.
Kim Dunn is a Child Psychologist and Founder of Positive Young Minds.