Every parent wants their child to be successful and smart. Right?
A person’s natural level of intelligence is not really something one can control, kind of like who your parents are or your race. You get what you get, at least until we figure out how to create perfection via genetics. In the meantime, we’re left to make the best of what we have.
In America, new parents begin early setting their children up for success by getting their children ready for school. We encourage them to teach colors, numbers, etc. There are bookoodles of learning apps and television shows aimed here.
While those academic things are important, they are not the single greatest factor in determining whether or not your child will be successful. The experts always tell us the single greatest predictor of success is whether a child is persistent or not. And…how well he/she can delay gratification.
Please take a moment and ask yourself, “Is my child learning persistence and delayed gratification while ‘learning’ in a virtual play world?”
I placed the word learning in quotes because I’m doubtful they’re learning much real-world information. More helpful to their success and well-rounded development would be things such as eye contact with adults, sharing, dealing with other children, not interrupting others, and handling frustration and anger appropriately. They are not learning those things on a tablet or glued to PBS. Watching a TV show about handling anger isn’t the same thing as having your sister break your favorite toy and not hitting her or breaking her toy. That’s real world vs. the virtual world.
You may believe your child is learning persistence because they spend sooo much time on that tablet ‘learning’. Watch them closely for about thirty minutes. See how long they actually work on one skill, such as learning the letter ‘A’. What they’re likely doing is flitting from one task to another like a butterfly, so they’re never bored or unsuccessful for long. While there are age differences to factor in, it is never normal for young children (younger than 10) to be sedentary for very long. This is not normal and is not healthy. See my earlier post on self-control and blowing off steam.
Here is a helpful idea to teach persistence and delayed gratification. Find a real-life role model. When Tim Tebow was young, he already wanted to play football. So his mother found him a role model–Danny Wuerffel. Both were examples of young Christian men who displayed talent paired with exemplary persistence. You can do something like that, as well.
When it comes to your child’s success as a Christian, they must learn persistence and delayed gratification. The Christian life is certainly not a bed of roses. It is filled with hills and valleys. I look to God as the best example for younger children. Is there a better example of never relenting, never ceasing, never failing persistence than God’s love for us? He never quits on us. Never.
You want your children to be successful in life, so do I. While I can’t do anything about your or your child’s level of intelligence, I can share with you the key ingredient to success–it is persistence.
I’ll end with this quote:
“Success comes in a lot of ways, but it doesn’t come with money and it doesn’t come with fame. It comes from having a meaning in your life, doing what you love and being passionate about what you do. That’s having a life of success. When you have the ability to do what you love, love what you do and have the ability to impact people. That’s having a life of success. That’s what having a life of meaning is.” – Tim Tebow
Would love to hear your thoughts on this post. Please comment below.
P.S. Final thoughts:
- Here’s the link to my children’s song “Giddy Up”. It’s about persistence/perseverance.
- July newsletter coming soon. Have you signed up yet? This month I’m sharing thoughts on a mom’s most important job PLUS many great book recommendations for you and your children. And, you really don’t want to miss the boots I found on Pinterest.