Monday, April 16, 2012

Should We Let Our Children Quit?

My short answer is "it depends."

Quitting something - an activity, a club, a team, a class, even a job - can be a difficult decision. For parents and kids.

If your son started guitar lessons, then decided they were too hard after a couple sessions, would you let him quit? Or would you make him keep going? If so, for how long?

I don't believe in forcing a child (or adult) to stick with something that they hate or dread doing.

But at the same time, if they've made a commitment to something - and it's not going to cause any lasting psychological or physical damage - then I say you have to stick with it. Especially if it's a short commitment.

For example, my daughter started Track Team at her junior high last week.

This week she wants to quit.

I said, "No!"

Here's my reasoning:

1. She made a commitment to being on the team.
2. It's a very short season. Only 4 or 5 meets.
3. I volunteered to be the Track Snack Mom and I . . .
a. Don't want to quit after I volunteered.
b. Don't want to be Snack Mom for a team my daughter's not even on.

So, she's still on the team.

I'm sure once she starts practicing again, she'll be fine. (She missed all last week due to illness.) The first meet is on Wednesday.

I bet a little air-in-her-hair, Gatorade, and team spirit will remind her why she joined in the first place.

At least I hope so.


  1. I agree, it depends. My son wanted to learn to play the guitar, we got him a guitar for Christmas, signed him up for lessons. After two lessons he wanted to quit, I told him he had to give it a couple of months (weekly lessons) and then he could decide. He did ultimately quit.

    He is a dirt bike guy, when he first started competing we had to 'push' him to follow through, and now he LOVES it, and has been riding for several years.

    I agree, it is so hard to know, but I think if we follow our guts we make good choices and help our kids do the same.

    And I think you are right-she will be glad she didn't quit once that first meet is behind her!

  2. It is sometimes hard to figure out if we should let them quit. I guess it all comes down to the individual kid and what the situation is. Obviously, for your son, a little 'pushing' helped him discover something he loves!