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Parenting expert: The No. 1 soft skill that predicts kids’ success more than IQ—and how to teach it

By | Michele Borba |

Through my research as a child psychologist, I’ve found that perseverance is the No. 1 soft skill that sets kids who are highly motivated apart from those who give up easily. In fact, studies have supported that it is a stronger predictor of success than IQ.

Kids who have perseverance don’t give up in the face of setbacks. They believe their efforts will pay off, so they stay motivated to work hard and finish what they start, despite any barriers that arise.

Here are nine ways parents can help kids build perseverance:

1. Fight the factors that discourage kids.

The first step is to fight the four factors that derail perseverance. I like to use the acronym “FAIL” as a helpful reminder:

  1. Fatigue: Safeguard your child’s concentration abilities by sticking to regular sleep routines. Turn devices off one hour before bedtime and keep screens outside of the bedroom at night.

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