How do kids learn to be persistent and persevere in life? Well according to a new report, kids learn persistence from their fathers.
Researchers at Brigham Young University studied 325 families over a four-year period. They measured how children ages 11 to 14 felt about school performance and attaining goals.
The study found that if a dad provides a balance of love and accountability in his parenting and encourages autonomy in his children, his kids will grow up to be more persistent. On the other hand, dads who had a harsher, more punishment based parenting style tend to have kids who are less persistent.
The researchers say that moms can encourage persistence too, but it turns out that when fathers use authoritative parenting, they have an impact on how their teenage kids perceive themselves and how persistent they are in their lives.
Laura Padilla-Walker, an associate professor in the School of Family Life at BYU says, "Our study suggests fathers who are most effective are those who listen to their children, have a close relationship, set appropriate rules, but also grant appropriate freedoms."
I have to admit, this study challenged me to examine my own parenting style. If you’re a dad, I’d encourage you to take time to prayerfully consider how you are raising your kids. Also, be humble and wise enough to ask your wife for her honest feedback.
Remember the bible tells us not to “exasperate” or “embitter” our children, but instead, to balance love and discipline in our parenting and to teach our kids to love and respect God and his precepts. If we do, persistence will likely be one of the character qualities that will follow.
I'm Bill Maier for WBCL.