Good Character for Kids: How to Teach Diligence to Your Kids

Will your child have what it takes to succeed?  If he wants to play sports in college, does he have the diligence to steadily do his school work and practice almost 45 hours a week?  If he wants to go to med school, will he be diligent enough to push through 80 plus hours a week he’ll spend at the hospital for his residency?  If he wants to be a missionary, will he have the diligence to work around the clock when needed?

It’s been said that diligence grows out of responsibility.  So if responsibility is knowing your duty and doing it, then diligence is doing your best at your duty.  So here, from our Good Character for Kids series, is how to teach diligence to your kids:

1. Give it your best shot.

A diligent job is a job well-done. Help your children visualize this concept by having them watch you fold clothes.  First, fold a towel the non-diligent way.  Do it haphazardly.  Next, fold a towel with great care and lay it beside the first one.  Ask your kids, “On which one did I use diligence?”  Explain that diligence is giving our best effort in everything we do. Diligence shows.  Finally, ask them if they’d rather fly in an airplane built by a diligent worker, or one who isn’t diligent.

2. It’s the little things.

Being diligent is doing the little steps well, to make the end product good.  Diligence is especially important when trying to reach a goal.  Diligence is doing a little each day to reach a goal, rather than waiting until the last minute to get something done.

3. It can be tiring.

Diligence is not for the weak or easily distracted.  Tell your children that being diligent is not always easy.  Be realistic with them.  Make sure they know that diligence requires effort, but the results are worth it.  Not just from what is achieved, but from the feeling that you know you did your best, no matter the outcome.

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