Dropping out of high school or college, in most cases, is nothing but a lack of discipline. Discipline or the lack thereof is learned by example. In rare cases, a child with nonchalant laid-back parents will develop the drive to endure to the end. Discipline is first introduced in the home. Teach your child by example to finish what they start. For example: When a parent goes on a diet or begins an exercise program, the child is watching. If the parent lacks off or totally quit before reaching their goals, the child makes a mental note that quitting is okay when things get too challenging.
A child can learn discipline through being encouraged to read and finish books. Parents can encourage reading by being more avid readers themselves. Read the newspapers and something more than one or two favorite sections. Discuss topics of interest with your child or children. However, when the parent begins a book then complains that the book is not interesting enough and quits reading it before they finish, it might send the message that quitting is okay if something is boring.
Discipline can be taught through leftovers. When a parent puts leftover food in the refrigerator and doesn't use it then later throws it out. The subtle message strengthens into a pattern of not finishing what you start. Something that seems as insignificant as finishing off the leftovers is teaching a lesson in not being wasteful because throwing away leftovers is throwing away money. The food was bought with the goal of consumption. The food was cooked and served with the goal of consumption.
Children must be taught at an early age an appreciation for discipline and endurance, even in the face of boredom. Teaching endurance in the home can begin with puzzles as a family project. Purchase a 500 or a 1000-piece puzzle and dump the pieces on a card table or some other surface. A couple times per week work on the puzzle together. During these times, occasionally, talk about the power of not walking away from the challenge of higher education. Tell your children that if they can complete that puzzle, they can complete anything.
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