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View Full Version : When your kid wants to quit _________.


North Country Dad
02-03-2010, 06:49 PM
After 3 years in gymnastics, my 7yo wanted to try dance. Every Tuesday since the beginning of this school year, she's taken back-to-back dance classes -- tap, then jazz -- 1.5 hours total, one night a week.

Now, she wants to quit. She whines every week lately, mostly about the individual dance times (when each kid has to briefly improv).

I'm fine with her stopping. She tried it, she liked if for a while, now she doesn't. Move on. My wife really, really doesn't want her to quit, thinking she should see through the commitment (in her eyes, the whole school year). I think holding a 7 yo to a year-long commitment is too much.

She rides horses once a week and has 4H bi-weekly, and rarely complains about attending either one. Other things we've talked about include karate, piano, or a second weekly horse lesson. Of course, she doesn't have to pick up some other activity, as we agree that she's involved in a sufficient number of activities already. Another option may be to cut back to just one type of dance, instead of two.

No need to get into how much is enough or too much for a kid to take, but I'm curious about how you guys deal with the "I don't want to take _____ lessons anymore". Do you expect them to try it for X number of weeks? Do you demand they carry through with it even if they're miserable?

DarthDaddy
02-03-2010, 07:00 PM
For us it depends on what and how...

Say it is a season or team sport like Swimming/Football/Baseball... You start the season you finish the season...

If it is a session sport like Karate you finish out the session...

If it is something we are paying for REGULARLY then we would base it on the actual commitment... If it is just stop and no longer paying or having other team commitments then we would be ok with it.

SteveH
02-03-2010, 07:04 PM
We're going through the same thing with our older son and Tae Kwon Do. I'd hate for him to quit at this point (he's a 2nd degree black belt), but ever since the school changed ownership, the new guy has just sucked the life out of the place, so I don't blame my son.

I agree with DD -- quitting mid-season on a sport or mid-session in other activies aren't something that I'm for. But otherwise, we just make a point of sitting down and making sure that quitting is the way they want to go. And I'm all for trying different sports and activities.

CTDon
02-03-2010, 07:26 PM
Edit to add: whoops, you turned it into a 'what would you do', not 'what do you think about my situation'. That's what I get for multitasking right now, lol.

I can't really comment as my kids are still so young they haven't established themselves in any activity yet, as we're still in the 'explore and see what you like' phase.


original message:

She is involved in other activities and has stuck with this for a few years. So she has shown commitment to this, as well as the other activities. She just isn't interested anymore.

Besides "work" (which you have to do), if you weren't interested in something anymore, would you keep doing it? Besides, if she's going to complain every step of the way do you REALLY want to put up with that on a weekly basis?

Question: cutting down to only one dance class...is that her idea or yours? (yours meaning either of the parents). If it's hers, and thats what she wants to do, it just shows that it might be too MUCH dance for her interest level and you can adjust accordingly.

like I said, she has proven commitment to activities, so if she wants to drop it I say support that. But if it becomes a habit, then you might want to talk to her about the importance of following through.

North Country Dad
02-03-2010, 07:28 PM
Thanks guys. Yeah, this isn't a team sport and isn't considered a season. However, they worked on one routine, then had their Christmas show. Now they're working on a second routine, and will have a show in May. Is that considered a session? I don't know.

Still thinking...

CTDon
02-03-2010, 07:32 PM
my knee-jerk question would be: how big is the class and would her leaving make a big impact on the routine?

But if she's truly unhappy, i think that would come before how it affects others.

Thanks guys. Yeah, this isn't a team sport and isn't considered a season. However, they worked on one routine, then had their Christmas show. Now they're working on a second routine, and will have a show in May. Is that considered a session? I don't know.

Still thinking...

North Country Dad
02-03-2010, 07:36 PM
Besides "work" (which you have to do), if you weren't interested in something anymore, would you keep doing it? Besides, if she's going to complain every step of the way do you REALLY want to put up with that on a weekly basis?

Question: cutting down to only one dance class...is that her idea or yours? (yours meaning either of the parents). If it's hers, and thats what she wants to do, it just shows that it might be too MUCH dance for her interest level and you can adjust accordingly.

like I said, she has proven commitment to activities, so if she wants to drop it I say support that. But if it becomes a habit, then you might want to talk to her about the importance of following through.

Your point about work is what I said to my wife. Why keep doing it?

As for cutting down to one class, I don't remember who said it first.

And my wife constantly (read: nags) talks to the kids about following through. I agree, but am more relaxed with things.

My daughter stuck with gymnastics for three years and is doing well with horse lessons so far. She's also seen through three summer soccer leagues and a basketball camp last winter. So yeah, she has shown commitment.

I agree that I don't want her to start a sport when she gets older and quit mid-season, unless she truly hates it, of course.

But this doesn't seem like it's just whining. I think she just doesn't like it anymore. Could be wrong, but that's just my take.

North Country Dad
02-03-2010, 07:37 PM
my knee-jerk question would be: how big is the class and would her leaving make a big impact on the routine?

But if she's truly unhappy, i think that would come before how it affects others.

Tap is a small class -- only four of them. But jazz is about a dozen kids.

sao95
02-03-2010, 08:16 PM
we are going through this right now with our 7 year old and ballet, the wife and I think the same on this one, the lessons are paid for til the spring recital, the costume is ordered and paid for, you have to finish what you started.

Don-Dad
02-03-2010, 08:48 PM
At 7, let the kid quit, it's not worth the aggravation. Unless there is the commitment of a recital, you already paid for many months in advance, pretty much what has been stated in this thread already.

I can see you wife's point of view and as the kids get older, you might have to be more strict about not quitting and/or clearly stating that if you join x activity then you stick with it until your commitment is over.

Out of curiosity and this might derail the thread :icon_wink:, did you guys participate in as many extra curricular activities as your kids do?

It seems like every where I go, one of the first things other parents ask about my kids is "Do they play any sports?"

I never played anything, t-ball, soccer, or any sport that is part of an organized league until I was in middle school, basically because it was free and the bus could bring me home every night. We played sandlot ball every day after school until we were called in for dinner.

I guess the reason I ask because my coworker has done nothing but talk about how much a superstar his 10 year old daughter is as soccer, basketball and lacrosse. She's off doing something almost every night and weekends. And of course she's the smartest kid in the class too, haha.

My kids do some activities but I guess since I work 9-5, I like to spend some time with them rather than watch them play soccer. My oldest does Tae Kwon Do twice a week but I'm out on the floor training right beside him. So we get some "us" time.

BTW, I highly recommend joining a martial arts with your own child, great exercise and bonding experience :)

North Country Dad
02-03-2010, 08:49 PM
we are going through this right now with our 7 year old and ballet, the wife and I think the same on this one, the lessons are paid for til the spring recital, the costume is ordered and paid for, you have to finish what you started.

Good point. The outfit is paid for, but the lessons are paid monthly. Hmmmm....

Quiesco Viduata
02-03-2010, 10:23 PM
Since I teach piano privately, I often get this. Either the student tells me they want to quit or the parent tells me that their child wants to quit. The first thing I ask is "why". Often times it's because they find something too hard and can't do it (where all other things come quite easy for them). It usually takes some probing and prompted questioning to get the real answer (as most students do not like to admit that they find something hard, or can't do it). I wonder if this is the case with your daughter, with the solo improv time. Does she find it hard and not know what to do? Is she shy with having the spot light on her? Is she scared that she'll make a mistake during the solo improv? I think I would find out the root of why she doesn't like it and then go from there. For me, "because I don't like it anymore" doesn't cut it. There is a specific reason why she doesn't like it. Is there an alternative dance class that she could take instead; that doesn't have solo improv? Maybe it's just the style of dance that she doesn't like, maybe she'd like ballet instead.

As a teacher, I often ask myself, "Why are the parents allowing a 7 year old make a decision that will affect them for the rest of their life?" For me, I'd rather work through this and solve the problem, rather than letting them quit. Have a talk with the dance instructor as sometimes all it takes is a little small thing and they are fine with continuing on. Sometimes there is just a hump they have to work through/get over, and then they are fine. Do either of you stay for the dance classes and cheer her on, or it's drop her off and come back later to pick her up? Depending on the child, some love it, while others do not. Or do you stay the entire time, and she prefers that you weren't there watching? Again, some like the parents there while others do not.

As a parent, although I haven't had to deal with this yet, I would expect/want my child to follow through on their commitment. Make the best of the situation. As I've mentioned above, I wouldn't want my son to quit every time something gets hard. The greatest motivator (intrinsic), and character builder is when you can overcome something that you had to struggle with - great satisfaction and a great confidence booster for later in life.

Good luck.

SteveH
02-03-2010, 11:39 PM
Don -- I agree, I didn't do nearly as many extracurricular activites as my kids do, but I think part of it is that there didn't seem to be nearly as much stuff available to do "back in the day". That, or my parents were good at keeping us in the dark. :eusa_whistle: I started playing baseball at around 8. My oldest started t-ball at 5, Tae Kwon Do at 4 and soccer at 3.

Cubfan
02-03-2010, 11:47 PM
Quiesco, nice post. I agree. Quitting something before its over is, well uh, its called QUITTING. Dont raise a quitter. Finish what ya started.

SteveH
02-03-2010, 11:50 PM
Quiesco, nice post. I agree. Quitting something before its over is, well uh, its called QUITTING. Dont raise a quitter. Finish what ya started.

Except when it's an ongoing activity, like piano or dance or karate, is there ever really a finish to it?

jeffb
02-04-2010, 12:22 AM
You finish what you paid for. So if your paying for the year up front then she should finish it. If you pay for each lesson then she could stop. A commitment is a commitment and it should seen through.

jeffb
02-04-2010, 12:23 AM
Except when it's an ongoing activity, like piano or dance or karate, is there ever really a finish to it?

For my daughter's violin lesson we pay monthly, so if we paid for month she should finish the month then might be able to stop.

Porschephile
02-04-2010, 12:24 AM
This is the reason I really don't want Shawn starting any organized sport or activity until he can fully go thru the activity w/o wanting to quit every 3 weeks. I agress with 100%, if she wants to stop let her.

wolfmanyoda
02-04-2010, 12:55 AM
My 7 year old is also complaining about ballet. She likes the jazz class but is tired of ballet.
Like it or not she will finish this year out (spring show and costumes paid for).

I won't push it next year, she says she just wants to take jazz and that's fine with me.

Quiesco Viduata
02-04-2010, 01:06 AM
A PS to my previous post.

NCD if your daughter is adamant about quitting, and your wife is adamant that she carries on, is their a middle ground? I was thinking, two dance classes, back to back is a lot for a 7 year old. It's a lot of concentration that is expected of her, to remember that this foot goes here now, that foot goes there then, then I do this, then that and so on. It's also for a long period of time if the classes are back to back. Could she maybe pick one that she would like to do and then stick with that for the remainder of the year? That way all parties win, your wife sees a commitment being followed through, you see her having a break, and your daughter feels she has a say in it by choosing which class she drops and which one she still attends.

North Country Dad
02-04-2010, 04:02 AM
Don, my wife and I talked tonight about that -- how we don't want to feel it necessary that our kids be active all the time simply because there are so many options.

QV, my daughter has made it very clear that she gets embarrassed being the only one dancing at those times. She's shy by nature and doesn't like all the attention. She just wants to dance because it's fun.

We decided we're going to meet in the middle, and let her do just one type of dance instead of two, and to see it through to the recital. She's already expressed her preference for tap, which is more structured and less improv than jazz, which meets her personality much better. She loves structure.

And I agree that she just seems tired with all this going on weekly (she also has a reading tutor once a week outside of the extra help she's getting in school). So, I think she's drained, physically and mentally.

Thanks for the input, guys.

CF, you quit your job to stay home, right? Why? You quitter. My daughter has seen through every thing she's ever started -- three different sports activities, and one social group. She's not a quitter.

Joey G
02-04-2010, 05:32 AM
NCD, it looks like you came to a good solution -- finding out why she wanted to quit and discovering the middle ground. Hopefully, she'll be happier with just the one class.

I have mixed feelings on the quitting debate. On one hand, we do want our kids to follow through on what they have started and to learn from that perseverance. On the other hand, if a child is so miserable at some extracurricular activity that he or she wants to quit, and there's no underlying reason behind wanting to quit beyond he or she just doesn't like anything about it (and if there's no overwhelming financial consideration involved), why put your child, especially under age 11 or so when they are trying to figure out what they like and dislike, through that? Forcing him to play might only bring about a half-hearted effort (in which case, the team might be better off without him in the first place) and/or resentment toward the parent. You get a strong-willed kid who suddenly doesn't like baseball but is being "forced" to play, and he might never take the bat off his shoulder, try to field a grounder, etc. Can you punish a kid for not trying a sport he doesn't like? Not unless you're a tennis dad ...

I don't remember doing more than one or two extra activities in grade school, but we were a one-car family for years. Let's see, my 6-year-old is in swimming, Little Gym, just finished basketball, and soccer is starting again in late March, and a short baseball season. My 3-year-old does Little Gym, swimming right now once a week, and might try soccer or rock climbing this spring. Yes, we're busy, but I don't mind shuttling them around if they are having fun and not parked in front of the TV.

JG

Hockeyfan
02-04-2010, 02:15 PM
Quiesco, nice post. I agree. Quitting something before its over is, well uh, its called QUITTING. Dont raise a quitter. Finish what ya started.

I agree. If it's a season thing. Like a 10 game season of soccer, baseball or the like. If it's something that is just neverending, then quit when you see fit or after your $ has ran out for that past payment.