Deciding whether or not to let your kids quit something can be a tricky parenting predicament. Oftentimes kids see a video or read about someone who can do something beautifully and imagine themselves doing it beautifully too. However, when they realize it’s hard work and they’re not doing it beautifully, they want to throw in the towel.
It’s important to teach kids not to quit something just because it’s difficult. Every time they successfully get through a tough or stressful situation, it sets them up to be resilient in life. Children want to be their best and don’t like losing. Yet, instead of putting in the reps and practice required to improve, their inclination is to simply diss the whole activity. Kids need to be encouraged to persevere through less than ideal conditions because that’s where growth happens. You don’t have to force them to sign up for the same activity again, but at least make them finish it. Have lots of discussions about participating and enjoying the payoff of persevering through difficulties.
On the other hand, if your child has been doing something for 8 or 9 years and he/she is tired of it, you really need to listen. You may not realize that the activity is more beneficial to you than it is to your child. Or, on the flip side, the activity may not be fun for anyone. Sometimes coaches are abusive, players are bullies, and programs are dangerously disorganized. If you’re constantly nagging or arguing about the activity, it may be time to give it up. Don’t consider it quitting - consider it retirement.
The bottom line is, assess the entire situation in terms of how it’s contributing to your child’s personal development and growth, and then make a decision.
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