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The Value of Effort in Childhood

Photo: I. Alix


Like Mahatma Gandhi said,  “Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment. Full effort is full victory,” and how right is he? Educating our children on the values of consistency, perseverance, and effort will make them become fighters for their own destiny, avoiding the conformity of a simple life. But how do you get effort to become a habit?

It is a process. The value of effort is not innate, but is the result of learning and comes in conjunction with motivation. Effort only exists if we think that something is worth the fight, which is why it is essential to look for that spark in each child.

You are their example in life. Your obligation should be to act as a role model, progressively stimulating their independence and self-sufficiency. The first steps to creating this habit in little ones are:

  • Present effort and consistency in a positive way.
  • Explain and reason with them about why their effort will help them to be satisfied with a job well done.
  • Take advantage of the day to day to observe and reinforce their effort.
  • Try to make it so they are the ones who take initiative, and only help when they ask for it.
  • Be demanding in support of their work without burdening them.

 Teach them:

  • To establish little goals. Remember to make them short-term, concrete, and with a strong possibility of success. Furthermore, do not allow them to give up after a failed attempt.
  • To acquire the habit of committing to their daily tasks and not allowing them to go unfinished.
  • To learn to lose in games. Take advantage of this learning opportunity to work on frustrations, tantrums, and their self-control.
  • The power of the desire to excel, luck is never the answer.
  • To learn to overcome setbacks, look for solutions to their daily problems, and not allow complaints to prevail in their life.


Consistency, steadfastness, persistence, tolerance, and tenacity – all these human values are related. To be able to achieve success, it is necessary to nourish ourselves with patience and be able to endure the moments when dark clouds appear and the thought of surrender is hovering in our head. A good way to begin cultivating this is through children’s books where the protagonists achieve their goals in the long-term. We can also use playtime as a learning opportunity to teach them patience and respect turn-taking by playing table games like jigsaws, 3-D puzzles, and construction games. It is also important to learn to listen to our little one, empathize with, and have an active dialogue with them. It is best to reward their waiting behaviors and not immediately give them want they want.


In life neither is won nor lost, neither fails nor triumphs. In life you learn, you grow, you discover; it is written, erased, and rewritten; It is spun, frayed, and spun back.” – Ana C. Blum

A daily effort, routine, habit, commitment, consistency, achieving small goals, desire to overcome, demand, and learning to fail, are without a doubt some of the feelings and attitudes that our Smartick kids know and practice.

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