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to think that "Never give up" is a crappy message to teach children

(70 Posts)
BertieBotts Sat 08-Oct-11 14:16:42

and "When to give up" would be better?

Birdsgottafly Sat 08-Oct-11 14:19:05

I agree, sometimes you have to re-think plans, this doesn't mean that you have failed. There is often different ways to achieve what you want. It's positive thinking that is more important to teach, including accepting change.

Lougle Sat 08-Oct-11 14:20:49

I agree. I think one of the best lessons we can teach our children is how to judge whether something is possible.

catgirl1976 Sat 08-Oct-11 14:25:06

I guess "pick your battles" is they key - knowing when something is so important you give it every last breath, and when it really isn't worth it

BertieBotts Sat 08-Oct-11 14:26:08

Pick your battles is a good one.

TootaLaFruit Sat 08-Oct-11 14:28:37

Did you watch '3rd & Bird' yesterday Bertie? That was their exact message - never give up, keep persevering until you get what you want. But as I was watching I thought "what a stupid thing to tell children" - often in life you have to give up and accept that you can't always get what you want. But if you try sometimes, you get what you need wink

I don't know. If you teach them to keep doing the same thing over and over and over again - then yes, that's crappy.

If, otoh, you teach them to identify what it is they want in life, and work out how to achieve it, making sure that they constantly re-evaluate ('sniff their cheese' to reference a particularly fab book!) and change how they are going about things - but don't abandon their goals if getting there is hard - then it's a good thing.

lesley33 Sat 08-Oct-11 14:37:25

I think we are wrong to encourage children that they will achieve what they want if they only try hard enough. There are lots of things taht our children will never achieve no matter how hard they try. For example my DS wanted to be a professional footballer when he was younger. I encouraged him, paid for him to go to weekly coaching, but it became clear that although he was a good footballer, he was never going to be good enough to play professionally.

Its getting the balance between encouraging DC to persevere, but to be realistic as well.

TootaLaFruit Sat 08-Oct-11 14:40:22

I bet some of those XFactor rejects went along to be humiliated with their parents' dulcet tones of 'never give up' ringing in their ears.

Obviously the message shouldn't be 'if something is hard, give up', but I think that catchphrases and sayings can sometimes be seen as absolute truth rather than just 'a saying'.

BertieBotts Sat 08-Oct-11 14:42:33

I did Toota grin And now DS is watching Thomas "Never never never give up" song on youtube. On a loop.

BruciesDollyDealer Sat 08-Oct-11 14:43:23

but then that allows people to say Oh I Cant Do It after a feeble attempt.

There is a lot to be said for determination. I bet the Help the Heroes fellas who walk thousands of miles in freezing cold with amputated limbs would have felt like giving up a few times. But they persevered and proved to themselves they COULD do it!

its a admirable quality

fatlazymummy Sat 08-Oct-11 14:46:08

'never give up' does apply sometimes. If a goal is realistic then yes, determination is all important and can be the deciding factor. The problem with things like the x-factor is that the goal isn't realistic for most people. Very few people are talented or gifted enough to succeed as a singer or musician. However for those who are determination and hard work is also needed, talent alone isn't sufficient.

TootaLaFruit Sat 08-Oct-11 14:53:29

Brucies - good point. I guess whether the end goal is worth it comes into play. I guess maybe when it's personal fulfillment/achievement then it's different. Oh, it's a hard one. I guess it's about trying your best, but not being blind as to whether something is really, really achievable or not.

I'm thinking about those people recently who battled for hours to try and save a beached whale, but in the end they just had to give up. They were just never going to be able to rescue it, no matter how hard they tried. I hope they still felt the effort was worth it, they should do.

plupervert Sat 08-Oct-11 15:32:55

It really depends on age and stage.

Very small children have no judgement, so it is certainly not unreasonable to encourage them "not to give up" on things, particularly as (a) it is unlikely that they will be set any truly impossible task, and (b) it is human nature to give up, so persistence in the face of defeat is unlikely to carry on forever. By the time they gain some judgement, they will hopefully have good habits of persistence for the worthy tasks, and be a bit cleverer about the way in which they succeed, and will understand that you are failing, say, to fill a bathtub because there is no plug in the hole, but if you can plug the hole somehow, you can succeed. The trying is then transferred to a secondary aim (finding something to plug the hole). Other obstacles may come up, too, and if the child has no habit of persisting, s/he could end up being the sort of adult who can't be bothered to go to the shop for a bathplug and therefore can't have a bath. Which is quite pathetic.

RosemaryandThyme Sat 08-Oct-11 17:20:24

Age and stage - totally agree.

There are many hideously unco-ordinated girls in my daughters ballet class who really should be told honesly that they are hopeless and should move into something more appropriate, like rugby-tots.

Its a scam to keep parents paying for lessons, and these smiling parents are proud I tell you, proud of their stumbling off-spring !

Trills Sat 08-Oct-11 17:22:33

I think sometimes the correct course of action is to abandon your goals.

Don't give up too easily.

But don't stick to something doggedly just because you once picked it as a goal, remember that circumstances change and your goals might change with them.

plupervert Sat 08-Oct-11 17:23:37

Ohhh, you are bad, about the rugby tots! grin

PigletJohn Sat 08-Oct-11 17:24:02

If at first you don't succeed, Try Again.
Then give up. No sense in being silly about it.

Hassled Sat 08-Oct-11 17:24:10

Homer Simpson at one stage says to Bart: "If at first you don't succeed, give up" grin. Unfortunately DS3 tends to use this as his mantra - it's a tough one. I agree with you, I think, but persistence is an admirable trait. Hard to get the balance right.

Laquitar Sat 08-Oct-11 17:31:00

I agree. My motto and my advice to my dcs is '*Always have Plan B ready*'.

Sometimes you do have to give up and to reserve your time and energy if something is not right or it doesn't lead anywhere. A really strong person will be able to admit that and use flexibility.
I don't believe in all eggs in one basket, always have 2 plans.

RosemaryandThyme Sat 08-Oct-11 17:37:34

Sorry Plup, just reeling from recent termly dance class bill - am looking at small fry and wondering how much forcing her to lay off the buns will contribute to the starting to see why so many dancers have eating issues.......

Laquitar Sat 08-Oct-11 17:39:00

The thing is we hear about the successful stories. Those who didn't give up and made it. But for every one of them there are 100s who regret not having an alternative plan.

Themumsnot Sat 08-Oct-11 17:39:37

There are many hideously unco-ordinated girls in my daughters ballet class who really should be told honesly that they are hopeless and should move into something more appropriate, like rugby-tots.

As the mother of one of those "hideously unco-ordinated girls" to whom you refer, I have to disagree. My DD1 is dyspraxic. Just like some of the girls in your pfb future prima ballerina's class I would hazard a guess. She started ballet when she was four - and I expect if you had seen her then you would have sneered at her too. She is 14 now, still dyspraxic, and she is doing grade 5 ballet. She'll never be really good at it, but it has done her so much - improved her gross motor control beyond recognition and given her so much confidence and self-esteem. And she now knows that if she persists at something she can achieve. And she also knows better than to sneer at someone because they aren't as good as her at the things she can do effortlessly. Which are many.

hiddenhome Sat 08-Oct-11 18:18:28

Lord give me strength

'Grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can
and the wisdom to know the difference.'


I know it's religious and all the atheists will hate me for it, but it is pretty sensible when you think about it.

Trills Sat 08-Oct-11 18:29:03

I doubt atheists will hate you for it, that's a silly thing to say.

It's a very sensible ting to wish for.

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