How to Encourage Persistence in Your Young Child

This question came to us from a parent in our Bright Horizons community. In today’s post Julie Christensen, Senior Writer at Bright Horizons, a former teacher, and mom to four, offers some advice on how to encourage persistence starting at a young age:

Yesterday, I spent an hour trying to schedule a flight. The travel website I was using kept glitching and losing half my itinerary. I’m generally a fairly calm person, but I was surprised by how annoyed I felt. My nine-year-old daughter came in, assessed the situation, and patted my hand. She said, “Keep trying, Mom. I know you can figure this out.”

Eventually I did figure it out, but it made me think about children, specifically young children. Executive function is so important, but it sure takes a long time to develop. We all experience moments when staying calm is tough. For toddlers — with their limited life experience — it can be near impossible. My four kids are past the toddler stage – whew! Now I’m watching my daughter help her two boys through it. As I think back on my experiences over the years in the classroom as a teacher and in my home as a parent, a few things come to mind in helping young children build persistence:

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