One of the first things a family can do to encourage diligence is to break the habit
of unfinished projects. When your children see you working hard to reach your goals
and putting aside distractions to do so, they will begin to value the quality of
Balance that hard work with diligence in family relationships, too, by taking time to
listen to their questions and talk, helping them solve conflicts, rewarding their
character achievements, playing together, and finding time as a family to give to
others. They will learn balance between hard work and remembering family priorities
as they see you demonstrate that balance.
Help them discern between needful activities and those that aren’t productive, in
order to develop more diligence. Which activities are "time-wasters"? Which can wait
until another season of life? Setting some family and personal goals will help sort
these activities out.
Read books or watch movies about sports stars and musicians who have had to
apply diligence to get where they are. Make a bulletin board about "Diligent Doers."
Check out the Just for Kids pages for an animal analogy and a biographic sketch
Parents - If you haven't already read the
pages on "Developing Character in Your
Children," you might want to go there first
before reading these pages.
Tips for Parents to Encourage Diligence
Build a "Beaver" Dam
Assemble materials: long plastic
container at least 5 inches deep, sand,
gravel, popsicle sticks or twigs, bucket
· Have the children put the sand in the
container and then create a channel for
a stream through it.
· Let them build a dam using the gravel
and rocks. Explain to them that the
deeper the water, the more pressure will
be on the dam. A triangular shape with
the wide part on the bottom will hold the
· Test the dam to see how the water
held. Talk about the hard work beavers
do to make their dams so they can have
a lake to live in.
Identify unfinished projects in your household and talk about
them as a family.
· Discuss the goal and steps needed to complete each project
that is worth finishing.
· If possible, assign a project to each child, or at least let them
participate in some steps of the projects.
· Set deadlines for each step and for each project.
· Talk about possible distractions and roadblocks for each
· Celebrate as a family when each project is finished.
· (You might consider drawing the project out like a board game
with steps, distractions, and final goal.)
Encourage your children to be "dilig-ants" by getting an ant farm
to observe or by making cut out ants to hang in strategic places.