On Challenges

One of the most important things that children can learn is to persevere when confronted with a challenge.  As our small children grow into excelling adults, we want them to see set backs as learning experiences and opportunities for growth.  Challenges come in many forms.  Some are innately obvious and some can be a bit obscure.   Pre-K is a wonderful ground for observing all of these.

From the first moment your babies breathed, they were attempting to make sense of their world.  They had to make many mistakes along the way.  Remember when they were so very little and their arms and legs seemed to wildly flail about without any real purpose?  Each movement taught their brain something about how they could interact with the world or control each muscle.  Zoom ahead a few months and watch a baby learn to sit.  They fall. They get up.  They don’t give up just because it is hard.  We are wired from the beginning to be tenacious.

Yet, somehow, as we age, we begin to start reflecting on our actions more.  Children begin to see themselves as “good” at some things, and “not good” at others.  For some children, and many adults, this translates into finding ways to circumvent tasks and activities that do not come easily.  A fear of failure dictates the types of things we choose to do.

For this reason, Winchester Thurston and many other acclaimed independent schools make persistence a major goal for each of our students.  From Pre-K forward, we work together to encourage our students to revel in a challenge.  By teaching our children how to approach all aspects of life as an experiment and how to view failures as simply data to inform our next decision, we guide them to a true gift: permission to grow.

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