Kids and Quitting

people walking on street during night time

Everyday feels like a delicate dance between teaching our kids lessons and just letting them be kids.

Recently, our daughter started a dance class through our parks and recreation. She had been begging to try dance, so I found a perfect starter class that meets once a week for 7 weeks.

Last week was the second class. That morning my daughter woke up and the first words out of her mouth were, “I don’t want to do dance anymore!!!!” Tears and whining followed this proclamation.

I felt torn in two directions. I want my children to learn to honor their commitments, but I don’t want them to feel forced into activities.

At first I decided to follow her words and withdraw from the class. When I tried to withdraw from the class and realized I would not get my money back, I changed my plan.

“Try one more class,” I told her.

I knew she would love it. The week before she left twirling and smiling. I have learned she doesn’t always love the build-up to an activity, but once there loves it.

So this was a moment to teach a lesson.

What was the lesson?

Sometimes you don’t want to do something on a given day. You wake up tired and want to back out. But you want your word to mean something.

And we all have days where we just have to push through.

So after school we had some special snacks on the way to dance. The class started and Kevin and I peered into the room to see her twirling and smiling once again.

It was a good decision to make her go.

Quitting was not the answer this time.

-Brittany

2 comments

  1. Brittany,
    I also struggle with the line between letting my kid be a kid and building future habits. Our current solution is that if he asks to take a class, he has to see it through to the end of the session. It has been the happy medium for us, so far.
    Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. In order to avoid over scheduling our kids, the first rule of thumb is that they have to ask three separate occasions for the activity before I’ll consider signing them up for it. The second rule of thumb is each kid gets 1 extra curricular activity/season + one annual (ex: piano or scouts). The third is that if they make the commitment, they follow through till the end – including any final performance/play off game.

    We allowed one deviation from that rule when my daughter, who excelled at gymnastics was being bullied by older girls in the class. We were surprised because she herself was sometimes more assertive than typical little girl socialization, but we believed her. I started by asking the coach open ended questions about the class and what might have been going on, we’re invited to observe a class in which our daughter was indeed being picked on while the coach was unaware, came home to Brainstorm options of how she could try to be successful, give her two chances to practice those techniques, and allowed her to quit when it was clear she would remain a target.

    Liked by 1 person

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