Doing Life Together

homework-1815899_1920Question: Our 7-year-old son isn’t persistent and struggles to finish things he begins. He easily gives up. My husband doesn’t think this is an issue, but I disagree and would like my husband to require him to stick to things more. My husband takes a hands-off approach. Can you help with this?

Persistence is a trait that most parents want to see developed in their children. We know from research that persistent children are less likely to be delinquent and more likely to be engaged in school. This is good and an advantage to give to our children.

We also know dads are key. A study in the Journal of Early Adolescence concludes that dads matter when it comes to developing persistence. Brigham Young University researchers studied children from two-parent families and found that a dad’s parenting style, more so than a mom’s, influenced persistence in children. Specifically, dads who used an authoritative parenting style influenced their kids in a positive way when it comes to persistence.

Authoritative parenting is characterized by a warm style of lovingly listening, but also providing rules and structure. Rules are explained and autonomy is encouraged. So there is a nice balance between loving and accountability. Every child needs a listening dad who sets structure and provides accountability in a way that is authoritative and loving. This approach, when it comes to supporting your children to stay in the game and reach the end goal, is an important role to play.

So yes, he needs to change from a passive style to an authoritative style of parenting that helps your son be more persistent and develop a stick-to-it-ness.


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