How Do You Handle Quitting?

How Do You Handle Quitting?

My 5 year old has quit everything. Ballet, bike riding, and now she’s trying to quit ice skating and swim lessons. Do you let them stop? Or do require them to see activity through? My husband thinks I’m pushing too hard…but we can’t let them give up if they can’t do it on the first try! I blogged about it…would love to hear others opinions. http://bit.ly/1dJ3Fdr

Comments

  1. Such a good question and I have no idea what the right thing to do is here. I think I would set a number of times you have to try it (so “commit” to a trial of 3 lessons, for example) before you decide whether you want to commit to a longer period. That way she can quench her need to try new things without the possibility of becoming someone who can’t stick it out.

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  2. This is a really good question. We signed our daughter up for soccer last year when she was three and was really excited about it. We soon realized that she was not ready for this team sport and I couldn’t wait for the season to be over. We had to bribe her at every game with candy to play because she never wanted to. We stuck through the entire season, 1. because my husband was the coach and that would have just looked horrible if we quit, 2. and most importantly because we didn’t want her to think that quitting was an option when we signed on to participate for the season. My daughter is now taking ballet and loves it BUT if she didn’t like it I would try to have her stick it out until the end of the year. It’s hard though because at that age if all they are doing is complaining every day about that activity it can get very difficult to manage. I like what Stephanie said about committing to a trial of 3 lessons that way she can get a feel for it and determine if it is something she will continue to dislike. I would even consider a trial of 5 to 7 lessons.

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    1. I feel so bad for your daughter! I agree though, at least 2-3 times and then make the decision. Good for you though–seeing it through!

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  3. This is a great question and you’ll likely find people with varying opinions. There’s little worse than having to drag a less than enthusiastic child to a season of events, practices and games once they have lost interest. After all there’s probably better things you could be doing with your own time anyway. I believe there is a lesson in sticking something out. We want our children to learn that when a commitment to something you see it through to the end. And when we have made a financial commitment we want to get our monies worth. However I would also point out that young children, especially toddlers and some pre-schoolers, don’t have the attention span to grasp this concept fully. They live in the here and now. When they are done, they are done and they make no bones about it. In this age range it would be better to sign up for a shorter period of time, when possible. Some communities offer programs with less of a commitment for the younger set. For the school age kids, on the other hand, I strongly encourage them to stick through the entire season. When it is over they never have to sign up again. We want them to learn that when things get tough, or even not so fun, we don’t quit. A season on a team can bring both highs and lows, it’s all part of the experience. They need to know they have not only made a personal commitment but there is a team that will be impacted by their participation as well. These are life skills, which translate into many things, that kids can start to learn at a young age and will serve them well into adulthood.

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    1. I couldn’t have said it better myself! Totally agree! School-aged children have a better understanding. If he/she is on a team they should stick it out until the end of the season or they will be letting down their teammates. I am a teacher and have seen so many parents do this and it is definitely teaching them a life skill just as Dr. Anderson stated. However, with younger children I feel that it is very important to not push them too far. Many parents expect too much from their children at such a young age. Let them be a kid and enjoy the simple things in life. It’s the only time in their life they can carefree. 🙂

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    2. That’s a great point, that kids this age live in the here and now. But I do agree they need to learn highs and lows, not everything is easy, we can’t coddle them. They have to learn to fall, and get back up, we can’t rescue them all the time. Thanks for such great advice.

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  4. I completely agree with Stephanie. There should definitely be a certain amount of time before you let them quit. Some things take time before you even if you like them or not so I agree the best idea is to set a strict amount of time that they must stay committed to the activity!

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