Friday, June 15, 2012

Encouraging perseverence

Dylan started Kung Fu just about a year ago.  He had long wanted to do some sort of martial art, but I had dragged my feet.

The cost.  The time.  The cost.

Kung Fu got in through the back door.  He "won" a free month by stopping at a booth at a festival.  (I think everyone who filled out a card "won" a free month.) So I let him do it for a month and one month only.

A year later and he's still going.

It's actually been a wonderful thing.  I'm sold on all of it.  I like the physical aspect.  The mental aspect.  And the spiritual aspect.

Ideally, I'd like to see it train him to be more focused, more accepting of himself, and more goal oriented.  But at the moment, I'm having a hard time even getting him to go.

When I pick him up, it's the same thing: "Can we skip it, just for today?"

I bet you can hear the whine.

I guess I'm somewhat of a hard-nose because I almost never let him skip out. Today, he was hot.  Yes, it's summer, it's New Orleans, it's hot.  Other days, he's tired.

Most days, I think he just wants to go home and watch TV. (More on TV another day.)

He used to love it.  He used to want to skip homework in order to go (lesser of two evils?).  He was so eager to move up to the next sash.

It's been a while since he's moved up, which might be part of the problem.  But in general, for him and maybe for lots of kids with ADHD, it's hard to encourage perseverance.  That's bad enough for Kung Fu; worse for schoolwork.

Recent studies show that tenacity has a greater impact on achievement than intelligence - a challenge for kids who have a brain-based deficits in these areas.

So how do you encourage perseverance? 

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