With the Back to School season getting underway we are going to be busy getting our kids involved in various activities in the coming months. With that in mind I wanted to offer some insight into a myth that can trap parents if we are not careful.
Myth …My child wants to quit an activity. It is easier to just give in and let them quit.
Truth…yes, it is easier to just give in and let them quit…but, as parents, what are we teaching our kids when we do this? Whether it is karate, soccer, scouts or whatever…letting kids quit only does one thing. It creates, in them, a “quit trigger” that goes off anytime something becomes a challenge. As well, parents, we reinforce that trigger in our selves when we give in to our kids rather than stand firm to our commitment. Especially with activities that build our kids up from the inside out; it is important to encourage, persuade and…yes…even MAKE them finish what they start. Now, I do not mean we bully our kids into doing what we say. We have to be smarter than that. Reason with the child. Sit down and discuss why they want to quit and figure out a way to persuade them to finish what they started.
Here’s the thing.
Commitment is a learned skill. We get up and go to work every day whether we feel like it or not.
Well, with activities like martial arts, we want to anchor that commitment so that when it matters with things like school or a job…it is already there.
Sure, kids are going to lose interest.
Sure, they are going to whine and complain about going.
Sure, there may be a ‘fight’ on our hands
But, last I remember, as the parent of an 8 year old…I AM IN CHARGE!
One of the most valuable life lessons I feel we can teach our kids is Commitment.
Recently, I came across a GREAT definition that I would like to share with you.
“Commitment means staying loyal to what we said we would do long after the mood we said it in has left us.”
So, if your child is in an activity and they are expressing a desire to quit…I encourage you, fellow parent, to be strong, stand firm and help them learn the lesson of commitment.