Are we teaching our children to be quiters?

Are we teaching our children to be quiters?


In past generations kids were taught to stick through things to the end. Quitting was often frowned upon and sticking with a program for years such as music lesson, painting, or even sports was common. The trend nowadays is parents sign kids up for a particular sport, then try it for 3-4 months and then jump to the next one; repeating the cycle over and over.

Ideally its good to have your child try a few different sports or other activities when they're young, then around middle school age most kids begin to narrow their scope of what to be involved in. By that time its good to encourage your child to stick through one or two particular sports. 

There will be a time with most endeavors that your child will want to quit. In some cases, it could be that they realize more effort or work is involved to be successful in their particular sport. The easy route is to enable your child to quit. However, would this be acceptable if your child wanted to stop taking science classes or math classes simply because they didn't like doing the extra work to solve new mathematical problems or put together a science project?

Often the parent does not realize that they are encouraging their child to become quitters when things get tough or when things become stressful in their minds. As many of us know, life as adults has it's share of frustration, pain, stressful moments and unexpected curve balls. What we as parents should aim to do is to enable our children to persevere and to embrace the challenge, and the various difficult curves each sport has to offer. 

Activities such as Jiu-Jitsu or Karate offer your child unwavering physical confidence, self-discipline, mental toughness and situational awareness to a higher state then most typical sports offer. This all sounds good, however many of these benefits and more never come to fruition, due to parents pulling their kids out too prematurely. Most of these benefits your child could have positively benefited from in the long run are never realized. With any endeavor things aren't instant, but instead take time. Some of these benefits don't begin to manifest themselves till 6 months to a year or in some cases longer.

There's always time to change these common tendencies to pull our child out of a sport to early because they think its too hard or don't like that they have to put time and effort into becoming successful at that particular sport. Giving our child the chance to grow and deal with adversity is something your child will never forget and will thank you later once they become adults.


*photo by Ana Laura C

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