I scream, you scream, we all scream for … kindergarten readiness! With a few sunny breaks today, kids were able to squeeze in some outside time before it rained again. Since the walk was dry, it was a good time to play with some sidewalk chalk. And that’s just what this child did.
Have you ever noticed how kids can get an idea stuck in their head and not let go? Any guesses as to this idea? It was ice cream. Of all the wonderful things that hands and chalk could draw, (or at least have help to draw) the choice was ice cream. Just as I wanted to groan, I realized that I was seeing another learning and thinking strategy, that of persistence. I could almost see that little mind thinking, “Hmm, if asking for some ice cream didn’t work, maybe drawing a picture of some would.”
Children have amazing persistence for something they want. On occasion, they wear the adults right down to get it, too. Kids’ persistence is often negative but it can be positive as well. Learning something new requires persistence and so does kindergarten readiness. I love this explanation on Kidpower Blog:
Now, some children know how to persist, but they do it in negative ways by whining and getting upset when they don’t get their way. Our job as adults is to help them learn how to persist in positive ways and how to accept disappointment gracefully.
Adults can help children learn to use their persistence by:
- Giving them opportunities to overcome challenges;
- Complimenting them when they are persisting in a positive way;
- Telling them if they get discouraged that even if something doesn’t work that you are proud of them for using their persistence and trying their best;
- Guiding them to be persistent and positive by asking them to use a regular voice instead of whining; and
- Helping them deal with disappointment by telling them you admire their persistence even if they are not going to get what they want. (from Kidpower Blog, Jan 17, 2010, Irene van der Zande)
Supporting young children as they learn involves so much more than academic skills. For your child’s learning and thinking development, is there an opportunity to encourage the skill of persistence?