A lesson in frustration

Frustration can be a good thing.  I try to keep my boys challenged so they can experience some frustration and work through it.  Last week I gave them an activity to do while I was baking with my daughter.  I didn’t realize what a great opportunity it would be for learning to work through frustration.

They were given a creative science task of setting up a marble raceway on the stairs so the marbles would go successfully from the top to the bottom.  This turned out to be a very difficult task for them.  Poor guys.  I wouldn’t let them give up though.  I had to explain that scientists need to experience frustration and work through it.  It is the frustration that leads them to figure new things out.

One son discovered an alternate way the marble could travel down the stairs.  He had the marble start off in the raceway and land inside Mr. Potato Head’s body which then rolled down the stairs to a ramp at the bottom.  I thought that was pretty cool, but they still had to persevere and make the track go all the way down to the bottom of the stairs.

After a long time of an unsuccessful track I came to help them.  This was not an easy task for me either.  I wanted to give up, but I sure couldn’t do that after I had been telling them not to give up.  So my oldest son and I worked together and made it work!  Yay!

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