Resources for Kids and Teens on Goal-Directed Perseverance

By Emily DiPalma on Monday, September 2, 2019
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Goal-directed persistence, also known as “stick-to-itiveness,” is the ability to set a reachable goal and then display ongoing efforts and attention towards achieving this goal. Persistence is necessary when a task becomes boring, is interrupted, or when we need to change the strategies we are using. Helping a child become more persistent will help them in school, sports, and other areas of achievement.

Our team of neuropsychologists, school psychologists, and psychology students at South County Child and Family Consultants are committed to searching the Internet and beyond to find reputable, informative, and practical tools for helping parents, children, and teens to improve their skills. We search for the best information online to help kids diagnosed with ADHD, Learning Disabilities, Executive Functioning Difficulties, struggles with Social Emotional Learning (SEL) skills, Autism, Depression, and Anxiety and provide you with information about how neuropsychological evaluations can help in targeting these concerns.

Children’s Books

The books we have included in this list are valuable resources for parents. Please read these stories with your children and point out the character’s ability to persevere through tasks that they may find difficult/challenging. 

Jayneen Sanders is the author of “Resilience”. This story was written to encourage resilient and persistent qualities, helping children bounce back from challenges and adversity.

“She Persisted Around the World: 13 Women Who Changed History”
“She Persisted Around the World” was written by Chelsea Clinton. This book is about women who have persevered through tasks that were challenging and who then made history with their accomplishments. 

“Hello Brain?”
Clarissa Johnson published “Hello Brain?” in 2017. These stories will help reinforce a positive growth mindset that can change the way your child thinks and responds to challenges.  

“My Strong Mind”
This story highlights the importance of developing goal-directed persistence and the many situations that it is useful in. Niels van Hove, the author of this story chose to write about this skill from a development standpoint, teaching children how to navigate challenging tasks.

Articles & Blog Posts for Teenagers and Young Adults

The Science of Perseverance
This blog post explains what perseverance is, how it can be applied to our own lives, and what growth and fixed mindsets are. In this article, you will learn how to maximize traits such as self-discipline, grit, and willpower. 

The Neuroscience of Perseverance
This article was posted by Christopher Bergland, a world-class endurance athlete, coach, author, and political activist. In this post, Bergland explains the science behind perseverance, the implications it has on our future success, and research that has been conducted in the past. 

When You Lose, You Win: The Power of Perseverance
This post takes a motivational approach to the topic of perseverance. While reading this article, you will start to learn how to accept “failure” as a stepping stone to greater future success. Click on the link above to learn more!

Six Steps to Help Your Teen Persevere & Grow
This article was written for parents, however, it is also a great resource for teenagers who are looking to improve their own perseverance. Each of the steps included in the article will walk you through developing a growth mindset.  


Search for the following games in the app store on your phone, tablet, or computer. Each game has been selected because it works to strengthen your child’s attention, perseverance, and memory skills. 

Toy Story Drop

This game helps strengthen our focus and working memory. It is available on Android, Facebook, and iOS devices. Toy Story Drop requires the player to collect as many batteries as possible in each level in order to unlock story levels. “Story Levels” have cut scenes with the beloved Toy Story characters, as well as a storyline that carries through multiple levels! 
Recommended for ages 6 and up.  

Food Ninja  

This game helps develop our attention, focus, and working memory. It is available on all iOS devices. The player gets to be a ninja chef starting out at the very bottom of the kitchen ladder. As the sous chef throws out ingredients, the food ninja taps the ingredient to collect it for their customer!
Recommended for ages 10 and up.

Full of Stars

This game is available on all iOS devices and works on developing focus and self-control. According to the game’s description, Full of Stars is a challenging yet charming mix of arcade games and choose-your-own-adventure stories. The player travels through space, saving people from war. Using simple controls, the player avoids meteorites, moons, and planets while collecting various supplies. If they crash, the player will face a storyline choice resulting in loss of influence, materials, or people. 
Recommended for ages 14 and up. 

Saber’s Edge

This game helps improve our ability to focus and also helps strengthen our cognitive flexibility. Saber’s Edge is a mix of role-playing, card battling, and match-3 game styles. The player unlocks and collects cards in order to gather a pirate crew and enhance their equipment.
Recommended for ages 13 and up.

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