Do you let your child quit because they do not like something?
I have children who want to quit sports, music, band. My husband and I do not let them quit. We are trying to teach them the value of sticking with it even if you do not like it. If your child wanted to quit in the middle of sports or school class would you let them?
Absolutely not… We as parents need to teach our children the value of commitment and follow through. Of course they are not going to always like each and everything they sign up for. However the lesson they learn for having to push through something they do not like is to “think things through” before hand.
If the child is fairly young it is the parents responsibility to explain to the child (in ways he/she can understand) the pros and cons of taking on the task. The parent must be very clear that once the child has made a commitment he/she must indeed follow through. We do not want our children to get in the habit of giving up when times are tough. Chances are, the bad habits they have as young children will carry on into their teens and adulthood. The best thing to do is simply nip things in the bud early on.
First you should ascertain if something else is going on in these activities (abuse, bullying, etc.) that makes your children not want to attend.
If they are old enough, they will know what their passions and interests in life are, and band and team sports may simply not interest them at all. What if they prefer writing, volunteering, or working to earn money? At a certain age you have to let them decide for themselves.
And I disagree that "sticking with it even if you do not like it" is inherently virtuous. What if they grow up and get stuck in a really bad marriage or a horrible job which they have no power to fix? You wouldn't want them to stay in a situation where they were being abused. It's important that they learn to stick up for themselves too.
Of course it’s common sense to allow a child to stop participating in an activity if he or she is in harm’s way. That’s a given! However if a child wants to quit something “just because” that’s unacceptable. They have to learn what commitment is
Apparently, I'll be in the minority here; but I think childhood is a time for kids to be able to try things they think they may be interested in. If they give it a try and find it isn't what they thought, I don't see the value in trying to teach them that they have to stick with something they don't like doing.
Of my own three kids and a number of activities for each, there were only a very few times when someone wanted to quit soon after trying something. Most of the time, each kid would stick with something (like a musical instrument) for a couple/few years and then decide s/he wanted to spend that time doing something else. They all stuck with at least one musical instrument for years. My sons stuck with baseball for years. My daughter stayed in dancing for years (and she's 27 today and still in a dance company "as an extra thing"). In most cases, with things they eventually quit they'd still use, and learn, the thing on their own. (That's quitting the class - not the activity.)
I think people (kids, anyone) need to sort out what's a commitment and what's a fun activity or an "extra activity". They grew up to be people with multiple interests, but also people who don't generally quit things lightly. They have long-term relationships, long (enough)-term employment, etc. I don't know.. I tend to think if a person is forced into doing too much stuff s/he doesn't like as a child s/he may reach a saturation point and have a harder time sticking with what s/he doesn't like later. Well.... my parents let me quit whatever I wanted when I was a kid, and next month I'll be having my five-year anniversary on than HubPages (and it isn't as if I've been having a big, giant, blast for this whole time lol ).
I just think it's more important to teach kids the difference between when, and what, is a serious commitment and important not to quit; and when something is a matter of personal interest, aimed at either just enjoying the activity or else pursuing what is a natural passion (in which case, kids don't want to quit anyway). Life is short. What, exactly, is the value in learning that we have to stick with things that aren't all that important and that we don't like? (particularly if someone has given something a shot, and a second shot and has found he just plain doesn't like it). School and work are one thing. Dancing lessons or clarinet lessons at seven is another.
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