It is normal for kids to want to try lots of things. It is also a completely normal part of life to quit things. There are only so many things a person or family can do!
The question is, are they quitting for the right reasons? As parents, we don’t want to raise natural quitters who give up at the first sign of trouble. We need to help guide them to when it is okay to quit, and when it is time to buckle down and push through.
Below is a few things to keep in mind if your kid tends to quit things easily.
Don't Quit On A Bad Day
This is my number one rule when talking with anyone about quitting something. ESPECIALLY my own kid.
Never quit on a bad day.
If a kid is only wanting to quit something because it has become hard, we want to teach them that the most worthwhile things in life are difficult. We want to raise our kids with perseverance and discipline to achieve anything they set their minds to!
If a kid is only quitting because they want to do nothing, we run into the same problem. It is important to be pursuing goals and growth so that we can experience as much of what the world has to offer as possible!
If I have a student come to me wanting to quit, I always start with asking them why.
Start With Why
If I have a student come to me wanting to quit, I always start with asking them why. I ask the same question when I want to quit something!
This is because there are good reasons to quit. They want to try something else, they can’t get to class anymore. Maybe there is a financial issue that our in house financial assistance program can’t help with.
There can be a ton of other good reasons to quit.
BUT, Quit On A Good Day
I always tell my son and my students that it is okay to quit, for good reasons, and on a good day.
If a student wants to quit because something is hard, I encourage them to keep trying until they get it. I motivate them to at least hold off until the difficult part is over. Then, on a good day when they are proud of their effort, ask them again if they still want to quit.
If so, no hard feelings! You did your best and you likely won’t feel guilty or regret it later.
Another Common Underlying Reason To Quit
I wrote about this in detail in our article about helping your kids gain confidence.
Another common reason kids might want to quit, but often don’t tell their parents, is because they feel like they are no good.
This is often because every time they do something, a parent or another trusted person in their life criticizes what they did.
This is a hard balance for me to have with my son, as both one of his coaches and his parent.
A child usually knows when they are making mistakes or having trouble with something. If that trouble or mistake is magnified by a trusted person they rely on for support, it can make those negative feelings even worse.
Coaches are there to correct, you can always talk to them about doing more correction. Kids need their parents to support and encourage them no matter how they do. They need their parents to motivate them through pointing out all the good things like their effort and things that they are proud of as parents.
Kids need that other side of the coin that reminds them of how awesome they are, even with their mistakes.
You Do Have To Correct Behaviors As A Parent
Obviously, as a parent there are times you have to correct behavior or mistakes.
The trick is, to put the focus on the desired behavior instead of what was wrong. The more we talk to kids about what was wrong, the more they focus on that. This can cause issues of fear and anxiety.
We need to spend more of that conversation talking about the right way to behave or do something. Maybe even role play a few scenerios of how to behave or handle something better.
Correcting something alone only tells them what the did wrong. Instead, try to focus the conversation on how to behave or handle it right so they have a guidebook for next time.
It is equally, if not more, important to tell them how to do it RIGHT.
If you have concerns about your child giving up easily, feel free to reach out to us for a #Teammate on the journey to guiding them to be the best they can be!
This #Teammate parent article was written by: Cory Rose