Participate in your child’s learning
Display a genuine interest in what she is doing. Ask her to ‘teach’ you what she learnt in a class — and then practice it together. Listen to your child when she talks about her experiences; stay in touch with the teacher/ coach/instructor. Adult observation and feedback is essential for a child to understand small but important changes or improvements, which will keep her motivated.
Inspire your child
You can use anecdotes from the lives of celebrities, or from your own life. Stories are effective tools to help your child understand that at some point, every individual encounters an obstacle or setback of some kind. Tell her about the 10000 hour rule; even high achievers as diverse as the Beatles or Bill Gates, needed to continue at their chosen field for a minimum time until they tasted success. (Malcolm Gladwell, in his book ‘Outliers – The Story of Success’ illustrates how practicing a specific task, 20 ours a week for 10 years — thus clocking 10000 hours — is the key to success in any field.
Help your child approach an interest differently
This is important to avoid monotony. If your child has been attending dance classes where the emphasis has been on technique, ask her to come back home and choreograph her own piece; she will savour the full creative control. Changing the setting can also infuse interest. If your son is going through a challenging phase at soccer class, suggest that he play with his cousins or family friends for a few days, in addition to his usual coaching sessions. The sheer joy of playing in a ‘non-performing’ setting may bring back his interest.
Cocoon your child from negative feedback or fight their battles for them
Perseverance in an activity also entails perseverance in several social relationships that your child will make in the process. Your child will need to deal with a critical teacher or a jealous friend making snide remarks. Instead of rushing to ‘take it up’ with the teacher or peer, explain how the world is made up of different people and that we all need to learn how to deal with them. Keyuri Sura, architect and mother of two says,”Just because you don’t have a ‘good’ class teacher, doesn’t mean you leave the school. The law of averages dictates that it is impossible to have all good teachers. It is the luck of the draw. You have to figure out how to deal with the given situation.”