Every parent has the kid that complains when it’s time to attend the weekly piano lesson or play a soccer game. Usually, we shrug off the gripes and tell them to stick with their commitment. But sometimes, sticking with something isn’t always the best advice. While there are plenty of times you want to hold your kids accountable and push them to do better, we’ve talked to dozens of parents whose kids have grown up just fine after quitting, and we’ve got 8 examples of when it’s okay.
1. When kids are in tears when it comes time to practice. If you find yourself constantly fighting with your kid to practice the piano or violin each day, it may be time to give up on the music lessons at this time.
2. When your little one’s fears go beyond normal. It’s normal to have some fear when starting a new activity. But if your kiddo’s fear is morphing into anxiety and panic when the sporting activity or music lesson approaches, it’s time to think about calling it quits.
3. When your kiddo is falling behind in school. From dance class to sporting events, it’s easy to sign up for every activity available. But if your school-aged kid is starting to neglect her homework and reading, or her grades are falling, it may be time to let your little one call it quits on an activity or two.
4. When your kid feels more alone than together in group activities. Organizations like Scouts and 4H are terrific skill-building programs for kids. But for some personalities, it may not be the right fit. If your kiddo is an introvert at heart and dreads the weekly group functions, consider looking for an activity that’s better suited to her personality.
5. When your son or daughter is only participating because your friend’s kid is doing it. Your best friend’s daughter may love her weekly Taekwondo class, but your son is just not taking to the practice and constantly complains about the activity. If that’s the case, your kid isn’t really participating for the right reason, and it’s okay to give him permission to quit.
6. When your kiddo is playing at the wrong level. Maybe your little one enjoyed the community softball club but isn’t quite ready for the competitive nature of Little League. If that’s the case, let him give up the rigorous endeavor and opt for a more leisurely group that focuses on enjoying the sport instead of competition. Doing so may make him feel more inclined to play as he grows.
7. When your kiddo has no downtime. Sometimes kids just need time to be a kid at home. If your son or daughter is constantly bounced around from sports, music, after-school activities and Scouts, it doesn’t allow for open-ended or imaginative play.
8. When it’s your dream and not their goal. You’ve always wanted to learn the guitar. But instead of you learning the instrument, you’ve signed up your kid for weekly music lessons that she dreads. If it’s not your little one’s dream to learn the instrument, it’s time for a reality check (for you).
Have you ever let your kiddo quit an activity? When did you decide to let them give up? Tell us about it in the comments.
— Leah R. Singer
Feature photo courtesy pexels.com