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Diligence

vs. slothfulness
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 diligence.

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."

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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 of water.

· 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 water better.
· 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.
Family Projects!

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 project.
· 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.