What My Toddler Teaches Me About Perseverance

Posted in Life, Motherhood
on February 20, 2017
toddler perseverance

What My Toddler Teaches Me About Perseverance

Baby D is growing up much faster than I would like her to. Every day, she is showing me something new – whether it’s crossing her arms or singing to Andra Day’s “Rise Up”. Oh, and let’s not forget the fact that she is now trying to climb EV-ER-Y-THING.

On one occasion, I followed her as she ran into the hallway at the house. My mom had a box with a pressure washer just waiting to be put to good toddler use. Instead of sensing danger & aborting mission, Baby D saw it as a challenge accepted & without hesitation began to lift up one little bowed leg onto the top of the box. As she grabbed the corners with both hands, I stood there & watched her struggle to pull her tiny body weight up onto the top of that box. Of course I’m spotting her from a very close distance, but deep down I knew she had what it took to do it.

After a few tries (& some whining & tears), she hoisted herself to the top of that box. I was both relieved & amazed at how determined & strong she was. I was also inspired by her perseverance. Even when it became tough & she became frustrated, she rose to the occasion. She didn’t give up after the first try & walk away.

Keep it going

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In fact, I believe toddlers are some of the most persistent individuals, particularly when it comes to hearing the word “no”. They keep it moving without a care in the world, much to our dismay. As I walk over to gently pick her up & place her back on solid ground, I thought even more about the times in my life where I’ve struggled to get on top, to achieve a goal, to be fearless. And here is my own flesh & blood, executing all three like the boss toddler that she is.

And I felt embarrassed. How is it that my 15 month old can persevere but her mother constantly feels the weight of giving up? Well, for one, I’m human so I guess that makes sense. But as I witnessed her work through her frustration to get what it was she wanted, I felt empowered.

As my mind worked through this existential realization, I came up with a few concrete lessons that I want to share with all of you.

  1. It’s okay to cry when things get tough, but keep going. Eventually you’ll make it.
  2. If at first you don’t succeed…yadda yadda yadda. You know the rest. But it’s a cliché for a reason.
  3. You’ll finally understand the strength you had in you all along when you do persevere.
  4. There’s more to reach. Work toward the next height. Baby D has moved on to climbing chairs, couches, her play yard. It’s only up from here for all of us.
  5. When you persevere, celebrate. You made it through, scars & all. So celebrate you.

Have you ever felt empowered by a toddler? They make you feel like anything is possible. In a toddler’s world, there are no limits. As adults, why should we impose them on ourselves?

Don't force something that doesn't fit


  • Maritess

    Wow, this was a great post! How funny too that you’ve got your own Baby D too! Mine is 16 months but she is definitely teaching me a thing or two as well… they grow so fast and I hope she never forgets to persevere also!

    February 21, 2017 at 11:11 pm Reply
    • Rashida

      Baby D’s are taking over the world 🙂

      February 23, 2017 at 10:12 pm Reply
  • Porche

    the greatest life lessons usually come in small packages and small moments, I try my best to cherish them daily with my own child

    February 21, 2017 at 11:15 pm Reply
    • Rashida

      I love how you worded that. It’s so true!

      February 23, 2017 at 8:44 pm Reply
  • Shann Eva

    Yes! Toddlers certainly are inspiring. My twins can get into just about anything and just about anywhere. They never give up, and I love that spirit and sense of adventure. Your little one is adorable!

    February 24, 2017 at 12:40 pm Reply
  • Donna Shana

    Great post. And toddlers are my favorite age of kids. My niece and nephew definitely taught me a thing or two.

    February 26, 2017 at 10:49 pm Reply
  • Kirstin Fuller

    We should keep that spirit of perseverance from childhood through adulthood. We can do anything and failing is good is we look at it as a chance to learn.

    February 26, 2017 at 10:50 pm Reply
  • Mimi Green

    Along the road to adulthood we take on fear. We have unsavory life experiences and caution. We need to be more little toddlers and just go for it. Then celebrate, toddlers also celebrate the smallest accomplishments.

    February 27, 2017 at 6:49 am Reply
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