Should You Let Them Quit?
Talking about Letting Kids Quit with Rebecca and Steve on KXL101 Morning News:Kids have been out of school a couple of weeks now and perhaps you're already hearing they don't want to do the things they committed to this summer. They want to quit that weekly sport camp....or those piano lessons they promised to do.Rebecca asks, "If your kid really hates the activity, should you make him or her stick to it?"Knowing your child and the reasons why you (or they) chose the activity is the place to start. Is doing a physical activity a value in your family? Is pursuing intellectual interests a priority?Michelle Obama’s list of parenting rules for her daughters include having them play two sports each, one they picked and one she chose for them, precisely because she wanted them to learn how to work harder at things they found difficult.What about the risk of your child HATING the activity forever because he was forced to do it?As adults, many of us can recall an activity that we hate because we were forced to do it as kids. Likewise, many adults can recall an activity their parent let them quit that they now regret. My daughter quit piano in 6th grade (her age of rebellion) and at age 30 still regrets that choice.Childhood is a time of exploration and experimentation. Letting them try a variety of activities is great but you also want to hold them steady to something. Completing a series of lessons, a season of sport is important (my opinion) than allow for making a different decision next year.How can we tell if it's the activity or the people who are teaching it? Or if it is the other kids on the team that are really the problem?Again, knowing your child is essential here. Looking beneath the complaints and desire to quit and see if there are some underlying issues. Then begin to help them develop the skills to navigate and negotiate with that teacher or coach.Rebecca concludes: she told a friend that her son can't quit because "We made a commitment." Her friend astutely questioned, "Did YOU make the commitment or did HE?" touché'How will you help your child navigate his desire to quit?
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