How many of you watched the London marathon on the television last Sunday?
Perhaps you knew someone who was running to raise money for charity?
It is quite something to run a marathon, it isn’t something a person can get up one morning and decide to do. It takes months of training, running in all weathers, even when you don’t feel like it. You have to manage with boredom, the pain of aching muscles and blistered feet. You have to dedicate yourself to fitness, eating correctly and getting enough sleep.
Like many things in life running a marathon is as much about mental preparation as physical. To commit to it, you need perseverance, resilience and inner strength. At school, we don’t expect our children to run marathons but we do seek to encourage the development of resilience and perseverance. It is important that our young people leave the school with the skills they need for future success. It is important to learn from failure and to recognize that success takes hard work and often lots of patience. It is easy to dismiss young people as having less perseverance than previous generations but I don’t believe this to be true. Anyone who has ever watched a child learning how to progress through a tricky computer game, knows that if a child wants to do something badly enough they will keep at it.
This weekend, why not look for a new hobby or activity which you can do as a family which will take time to learn together? Developing inner strength will help you and your child to manage the difficult challenges which may lay ahead. The key is for parents to encourage and praise every effort in the same way as the crowds in London cheered on the runners last week.