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Should you let your kid quit an activity? A parenting expert says it’s ok to be a quitter sometimes

Should you let your kid quit an activity? A parenting expert says it's ok to be a quitter sometimes

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As parents, we want our kids to be resilient and rise to face any challenge. But when your child is complaining that they hate basketball or saying that they don’t want to take dance anymore (right after you’ve invested in tights, leotard and special shoes, naturally) should you force them to continue with the sport or activity?

Vanessa Lapointe, a psychologist, family educator in private practice, and author of Discipline Without Damage says that it’s okay for you to allow your child to quit an activity, provided it’s not right on the heels of a disastrous game or frustrating practice.  

“Even as adults, it’s hard for us to stick with something new—especially when we feel unsure, not good enough or out of our element,” she says. “If this is true for us as adults with fully mature brains and a decent understanding of how effort is exchanged for outcomes, imagine how much harder this is for young children! They don’t have the life experience to know how it all works.”

Giving it a go

That’s not to say that anytime your child doesn’t feel like doing something you should let them off the hook. Kids can benefit from being uncomfortable. While they may not be the best at something right off the bat, the confidence that comes from mastering or even slightly improving at an activity can be worth it.

“Sometimes a little gentle encouragement to give it a fair go is appropriate,” says Lapointe. She encourages parents to consider the child’s temperament and why the activity isn’t fulfilling before throwing in the towel.

Mary Kickel of Cincinnati, Ohio, a mom of two boys ages 11 and 13, says her rule is that everyone must complete the cycle of an activity (the season or session they signed up for) before bailing. “And we have to talk about why,” she says, adding that this step is especially important for her son with autism who may just need extra supports in place to make an activity more enjoyable.

“That said, I’ve let my kids quit soccer, violin, piano, speech and debate. Music is something people have to want to do. After a year or more of lessons if things aren’t clicking, we let it go.”

Whose dream is it anyway?

In the Netflix documentary Beckham, David’s mother recounts watching her husband put him through endless drills in order to become a professional soccer player. But even if you’re not trying to get your kid onto Manchester United, many parents may be tempted to push their…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Fortune | FORTUNE…

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