Humans are born with instincts. If you’ve ever wondered how children know how to suck a bottle from birth, learn how to speak, master challenges or develop their identity, it’s through a combination of these instincts and their experiences.
Today’s children have a variety of influences that shape their development. Schools, TV, music, and relationships with other children and caregivers contribute to how a child experiences the world. Caregivers have the responsibility to do everything they can to nurture and educate these children.
As children develop, they should learn self-discipline, tenacity, and resilience. Adults can best help children by observing how they interact with their surroundings and other people and providing them with developmental experiences customized to the specific child’s needs.
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Tenacity is a strength that is all about perseverance, resolve, fortitude, and being in it for the long haul. Tenacity helps you learn new things, successfully navigate adversities, continue even if failure seems likely, and develop and practice self-discipline.
There are instincts humans are born with that makes tenacity natural:
- Compassionate empathy — you use instinctive understanding combined with kindness, tactfulness, and forbearance when presented with a difficult situation.
- Genuine altruism — you give effort and time to others in a sensitive, honest, and sincere manner.
- Intrinsic motivation — you are internally driven to achieve your goals.
- Intuitive optimism — you are hard-wired to believe that you will succeed, regardless of obstacles, as long as you keep trying. Similar to perseverance — “if at first, you don’t succeed, try, try again.”
- Measured fairness — you understand that you have to say no sometimes. Like airplane emergency procedures, you can’t help others if you don’t help yourself first.
- Simultaneous intelligence — You look at the overall picture. “You can’t see the forest for the trees” is said if someone doesn’t focus on how all the moving parts in a situation work together as a whole.
- Virtuous responsibility — you use integrity, morality, dignity, and respect to govern your behavior.
Humans are naturally inclined to have tenacity, but it can be a learned skill.. Essentially, building tenacity is all about fully embracing the saying “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” It involves understanding and believing that you can learn and grow from your life experiences.
Use your tenacity to develop a growth mindset. Know that hard work can help you to achieve your goals. Resilience is built by using the growth mindset approach.
You might have a hard day or a challenging experience. Using your growth mindset, you can learn how to be more resilient in similar circumstances.
Look at the difficult situation honestly and ask yourself how you feel about it. Are you happy with how you acted and what you said?
Use your self-analysis to affect your future behavior; you might phrase things differently or take different actions next time. Decide how you can reproduce the areas that pleased you. Those things focus on learning from your experiences and taking steps to change something in your future — things that are key to a growth mindset and building tenacity. The confidence you gain from positively using negative experiences as tools for growth can help your resilience flourish.
You can teach children to develop their own resilience by showing them what’s possible. Teach them techniques that help you to grow as a person through social and emotional learning assessment tools. Lovingly support them if they fail and encourage them to develop their own strengths.