when to quit

10 Things to Consider Before You Let Your Children Quit

Has your child ever been on a sports team or program and wanted to quit halfway through? How did you handle this situation? Did you let them just do whatever they wanted? Or did you help them walk through the situation? It can be a tough and overwhelming situation if your child is deciding to quit. You don’t want your child to be labeled as a quitter but if they are in an unhealthy situation it might be necessary. If you’re facing a situation where your child is thinking about when to quit or when to persevere, here are 10 things to consider before you let your children quit.

1. “Quitter” is a tough label to shake.

Breaking a promise is a big deal; failing to follow through should never be brushed off. Quitting is never small potatoes.

2. Tenacity is a strong word for life.

Thomas Edison famously “failed” 10,000 times on his way to inventing the light bulb. What if he had simply quit along the way?

3. This is a big life-lesson opportunity.

If children don’t learn to follow through now when they have our support, how will they become equipped to follow through as adults, when they must rely on what we taught them?

4. Make sure we understand the entire story!

It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about network news, witnesses to an accident, or kids – the principle’s the same: one source of information is never enough.

5. Promises are important to keep.

Trust takes a long line of completions to build, but it only takes one broken promise to dismantle.

6. Quitting on impulse is never the right choice.

Have your child outline the problem and then explain exactly why they believe quitting is their #1 option.

7. Kids usually quit for the wrong reason.

Try to get to the bottom of why your kids want to quit. “It’s not fun anymore” may be code for “kids make fun of me.”

8. Challenging experiences invariably build character.

The easy way out typically builds something else. Want your children to be diamonds? The only way is to have them take the pressure sometimes.

9. The more often children quit before completing a task, the less likely they are to finish the next one.

Quitting, like perseverance, can quickly form a habit. Challenge your children not to give up too easily.

10. Sometimes your child needs to make a tough choice and walk away.

Once in a while, quitting is simply the right thing to do. Maybe the coach is bad news; maybe your child really is overcommitted; maybe there are principles of character he or she cannot compromise. If this is the case, your child needs your support and your help to make a gracious exit.

Sound Off

Do you think it is okay to let your child quit something?

Mark W. Merrill

Mark is the president of All Pro Dad and Family First , a national non-profit organization. He is also the voice of a daily radio program called The Family Minute.

  • BK

    My son signed up for a 3 day golf camp. I watched from a distance on the first day. I could tell he was frustrated but he finished the 3 hours. When we got in the truck to go home, he asked if he had to go back. My answer was no. The “instructor” was horrible and spent no individual instruction time with the campers. Hoping I was a #10 Dad. Thanks for the article.

  • David Lisk

    When kids sign up for an activity they are making a commitment. Saying “count on me to be there.” Living up to our commitments is one of the best character building things we can do in life. It builds trust and shows others we can be counted on no matter the situation. However, if there are moral or ethical issues involved, then take the opportunity to teach your child how to handle those issues with dignity and respect.

  • Jeremy

    Good article. Something I’ve lived through with my daughter. My wife let our daughter quit AAU volleyball after her team qualified for the state meet. They were a very small team with only five players. After my daughter quit they could not play in the meet since the minimum was a team of 5 players. My wife did this behind my back like most things. We only took grief from one family for letting our daughter quit.

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Huddle up with your kids and ask, “Why do you think it’s important to follow through when we say we are going to do something?”

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