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Should I Let My Child Quit?

Posted By Center for Mediated Divorce || 17-Nov-2016

This question often plagues the minds of parents, especially when their children continue to insist on hating certain extracurricular activities. As a parent, you don’t want to see your child give up on something, and as a society, we are adverse to quitters. How many times have we all heard that “Winners never quit and quitters never win” saying? As a parent, it can be difficult to balance your own desires for your children to succeed and the desire to let your kids give up. Our firm shares some things to think about next time your child tells you they are ready to quit.

If your child expresses the desire to quit, think about these three things:

  • Whose activity is it really? – Many parents have fallen into the trap of needing their child to uphold their own interests or former hobbies. If you have put your child into an activity that you enjoyed when you were young, whether it was piano or baseball, and your child expresses a desire to quit, make sure you really reflect on whether this activity is your desire or your child’s. Chances are, you might not have even really thought about it before. If it is your desire and not your child’s, it is also likely that there is a different activity that they might engage in more.
  • Quitting should be a process – Amy Lee, a San Francisco-based consultant and mother, believes that children need time to decide what they really want. Quitting should be controlled. Allow your child the time to get to know an activity. Even then, quitting should be a process. Instead of pulling the plug, start with perhaps fewer hours of practice or a smaller amount of lessons. Walk them through the process of reflection, pros and cons, and cause and effect. At the very least, they can build the skills for decision making while quitting their activity.
  • Slowing down isn’t a bad thing – Many parents might feel the need to pack their children’s days with activities. However, free time doesn’t always mean wasted time. Often, pushing a child too hard or making their days too busy can be incredibly stressful. Balancing school, homework, and 25+ hours of extracurricular is overwhelming and can often lead to your child’s desire to quit. If this happens, try a less stressful approach. Maybe sign them up to a less competitive program. Once the stress and pressure is gone, you child might relearn their passion.

Our Irvine divorce attorneys are always looking for ways for parents to better understand and improve the relationship they have with their children. For more parenting advice, especially regarding family law matters, contact the Center for Mediated Divorce today.

Categories: Parenting, Co-Parenting

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