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<p>So, Ev is unusually smart and talented for his age.  Yes, I'm biased because he's my kid, but he IS really smart and things usually come easily to him. </p>
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<p>When things are tough, he has the tendency to panic and quit.  He just freezes up, gets depressed and angry and says things like, "I guess I'll NEVER be able to...<insert whatever here>..."</p>
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<p>How do you encourage perserverance in your kids/friends/students/people you coach...??  Other than bribery with chocolate or food?  I verbally tell him that it's OK to fail and that trying is important, blah, blah, blah...but it's not sinking in.</p>
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<p>I get really frustrated when he does that...it reminds me too much of a friend of mine who was never able to finish anything, even though she was very talented...I want him to work through the hard stuff and feel accomplished and proud at the end...without the panicking part...</p>
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<p>Thoughts?</p>
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<p>I read something somewhere one time and as I recall...</p>
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<p>OK, "smart" isn't something a kid can control and kids who are known as "smart" tend to be more risk averse / afriad of failure because it could result in the "smart" label being taken away.</p>
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<p>On the other hand, kids labeled as "hard working" or "dedicated" or any other label that's a behavioral label, that they can control, tended to be less risk averse/ afraid of failure since any one X, Y, Z not working out doesn't compromise their identity.</p>
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<p>I also know that when most things come easy to a kid, they tend to not learn how to be patient and work hard and muddle through (not a character judgement, just that they haven't had the chance to learn these behaviors).</p>
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<p>And, for me, expectations play a role.  If I expect something to be easy and it turns out more complicated I get monumentally more frustrated than if I expect it to be hard and I'm right.</p>
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<p>So... I would start identifying times when he does use patience and a step by step approach to problem solving.  I'd start pointing out when I use said step by step approaches.  When he gets frustrated I'd let him take a break and then ask him to think about it and break it down and think about other ways of doing X.</p>
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<p>Another thing you can do is do an activity together that you flat out suck at and/or can't do - and have fun doing it (i.e. you can't ski so go skiing and have a blast falling in the snow).</p>
 

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<p>It really sucks when the first poster offers such good insight and advice that I have nothing left to offer.</p>
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<p>I'll NEVER be able to offer good advice to people!!! <img alt="" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/mad.gif" style="width:16px;height:16px;" title=""></p>
 

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<p>  I've seen the same thing "refi..." mentions. There was apparently a study done once where two groups of youngsters were given a set of very challenging mathematical puzzles to solve. When the kids presented their answers, the people running the study responded in one of two ways. One group of kids was told "you must be very smart," while the other group was told "you must have worked very hard." Otherwise, all kids were treated equally.</p>
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<p>  The group that was told they worked very hard tended to tackle much harder follow-up puzzles than the other group.</p>
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<p>  I don't know that this will work, but you could try the old "you don't have an option" approach. Give him a task that you know is a small stretch for him but one that he can do, and tell him he is to complete the task - period. Maybe make the completion a prerequisite to something he really wants - like a movie or something.</p>
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<p>  Then, when he finishes, praise his work ethic rather than his intelligence.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Colby</strong> <a href="/forum/thread/69178/encouraging-perserverance#post_1928024"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p> </p>
<p>When things are tough, he has the tendency to panic and quit.  He just freezes up, gets depressed and angry and says things like, "I guess I'll NEVER be able to...<insert whatever here>..."</p>
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<p>^ regarding that, I would use an example of something he tackled and accomplished in the recent past, to show to him that he CAN do hard things. Or use an example of something difficult he did, like, you did xxx, so i know you will be able to do yyy because you are so strong and capable. Or similar.<br>
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<p>Colby, Miss Sunshine is the same way.  She's a smart kid, but gets frustrated easily.  She also tends to use the words never and always, too.</p>
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<p>I like the idea of praising hard work over smarts.  I also try to say things like, "You must be so proud of yourself" rather than "I'm proud of you."  I do tell her I am proud of her, but I'd like to try to instill some personal satisfaction in a job well done.</p>
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<p>I remember reading a critique of modern education where boys are more likely to be called "smart" by their teachers, and girls are more likely to be called "hard workers" for similar outcomes.  At the time, it was considered a bad thing.  I never thought of it in the terms that 4boys mentioned.</p>
 

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<p>Well, he's still awfully young.  Maybe some tasks are a little daunting and the problem solving aspect to seeing it through is a little too advanced for him.  Have you tried helping him to see the solution and working with him to the finish?  Maybe he just needs to see that some difficult tasks can be finished but he just needs a little help and eventually he won't need that help.  The problem solving techniques he learns with help will carry over and he won't need the help but will have the confidence that he can finish?</p>
 

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<p>My sister uses a similar strategy with her kids....</p>
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<p>She said, Sometimes tying your shoes can be tricky.</p>
<p>Rather than</p>
<p> "Tying shoes is hard"</p>
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<p>That way, when they did accomplish it (no matter how long it took) it was MUCH more of an intellectual accomplishment, or a perseverence accomplishment.</p>
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<p>"hard" is dauting.</p>
<p>"tricky" is a challenge, like a dare.</p>
 
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