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Why I Never Let My Kids Quit Anything

Deciding when to let your child quit something, be it Gymboree, Little League or SAT prep, is a question that never goes away. How do you deal with your children wanting to quit?

Lisa, from Grown and Flown, writes: Quitting. We quit jobs, we quit marriages, we walk out on friendships and sometimes we let people down when the going gets tough. Sometimes it is necessary, even the right thing to do. Our kids quit teams and music lessons, art classes and after school programs. Sometimes it’s necessary, but sometimes they are bored or don’t like the coach or would just rather play video games at home. Deciding when to let your child quit something, be it Gymboree, Little League or SAT prep, is a question that never goes away.

My kids have tried it all. I have driven them to sports, found drum teachers, glass blowing lessons, painting and ceramics classes. They have tried their hands at their school newspapers, student government, ESL tutoring and computer programming camp, though why that qualifies as camp, I am sure that I will never know. In the end, they did not commit to most of these activities, but at the same time, I never let them quit a single activity.

Our rule is simple: Try any activity that we have the resources to make possible. Go once, go even twice but if you commit, I told my kids, there will be no quitting. At the risk of overgeneralizing, I think our children have so many choices of ways to enrich their lives that quitting has become an easy response to frustration or boredom.

I regret many of the things in life that I quit, not because I was enjoying them when I left, but because if I had stuck it out and reached any sort of competency, I might have found that illusive enjoyment.

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Local Business Owner November 28, 2012 at 11:43 AM
I like this approach as it allows children to partake in the decision making process, which is excellent.
Cadeyrn November 28, 2012 at 02:29 PM
Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit. ... Vince lombardi
Steven Ircha November 29, 2012 at 01:44 PM
It's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. Who said that?
Blaue Vogel November 29, 2012 at 01:57 PM
Some loser.
Marty November 29, 2012 at 01:57 PM
I believe it's from "In Memoriam" by Lord Alfred Tennyson
Steven Ircha November 29, 2012 at 09:28 PM
I know many kids that were involved in scouting that at some point thought it would take too much time and effort to obtain their Eagle Rank. It takes many years and a lot of work. As their Assistant Scoutmaster, I asked these scouts to be patient and persevere. Today, these same boys are adults and are so happy that they stuck with scouting and obtained their Eagle Scout Rank. They have all expressed their gratitude for all the talks we had on "why you should never quit".
Tyler Durden November 30, 2012 at 11:43 AM
I remember when I was a kid. We were allowed to be kids back then. Our parents had lives of their own and we could enjoy our childhoods. Sad to see such over management of a magical time in our children's lives.
Jim Maisano November 30, 2012 at 02:49 PM
Excellent point...I agree 100%
Patti November 30, 2012 at 03:36 PM
I agree 100% also. So many parents enjoy living thru their children's lives and push them to do all sorts of activities that fill their lives so much they have no time to just enjoy being a kid.
Tyler Durden November 30, 2012 at 06:33 PM
Amen to that Patti!

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