This week my husband surprised me with an invitation to go to the Ryder Cup, a golf tournament held once every two years.

I got up insanely early to go to the practice round, stood for hours in the wind and cold, and fought my way through hordes of people. All that perseverance paid off. I got to see some of golf’s greats, like Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson, AND spend the day with my husband who just happens to be my best friend.

Today I thought I’d share one of my all-time favorite ways to talk about perseverance with kids. It’s a whole lot of fun and can be done with adults or kids, individuals or with groups.

Here’s all you need to do: Watch the video and use the talking points you’ll find below.


Perseverance and reward talking points


Perseverance is supposed to be the Christian thing to do. We hear about persistence and toughing it out and hanging in there all the time. But sometimes “keeping on” conveys a sense of dutiful drudgery rather than any heartfelt joy. Which is why, I believe, God is so enthusiastic about rewards. “I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind,” he says, “to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.” The Scripture is full of rewards examples (Deut. 12:28; Rev. 2:26).

Kids need to know that perseverance results in reward too.


  1. Do the doughnut activity together using a small doughnut, or just watch the video. (It’s SO much more fun doing it though!)

Options: Have a competition between two or more kids. Have parents compete against each other. Or if you have one child, time him and then have him do it again and try to beat their time.


  1. Ask, “Even though it was hard to get that doughnut in your mouth, you kept on trying. Why? What made you persevere (keep trying)?”
    Their likely answer: “I wanted that doughnut” or “I really like doughnuts” or “I really wanted to win”.


  1. Explain, “When we’re in the middle of something hard, sometimes what helps us keep going is remembering there’s a reward.”*


  1. You may give reward your kids (for making their bed, taking out the trash), but help them spot rewards that aren’t always so obvious.
    brush your teeth – fewer cavities and fewer toothaches
    clean your room – be able to find where everything is
    study hard for a test – satisfaction inside that comes from knowing you did your best
    say hello to a new kid at school – make a new friend
    forgive someone who was mean to them – peace inside instead of bitterness
    Best of all, those who believe in Jesus have a live-with-Jesus-forever reward!

Then, next time your son or daughter feels discouraged or like giving up, help them to remember their rewards.


2016 © Carol Garborg

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