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When is it okay to let my child quit?

Childhood is a time to explore, grow, and experience as many interests as possible in the

pursuit of finding the answer to what fulfills your heart! For children, being in activities

provides the opportunity for students to be active and learn life skills. Children learn how to

create and maintain strong supportive relationships, teamwork, self-discipline, and how to

overcome challenges and obstacles.


I recently saw on social media from the “Big Life Journal” (which is a highly recommended

Instagram to follow for parents) a topic regarding…


What do if your child wants to quit a sport? Advice from Olympic Gold Medalist Nastia

Lueken.


Imagine your child comes back from a class and says: “I hate karate! (replace with dance) It’s

too hard. I don’t want to do this anymore.”


Just tell them…


“Okay, you can quit. But not today!


Then explain,


“We all have bad days when we want to quit. When something feels hard, our brain and body

resist because they want us to be comfortable. But if we quit on a bad day, we will never

become great at something and we might regret it later.”


So here’s the deal…


“You can quit on a good day. When you have a successful day and you still want to quit, then

let’s talk.”


What this approach does, it normalizes the struggle (which builds resilience) and honors your

child’s choice if they want to try something else.


We ALL have these days when it’s just too hard. To build resilience, adopt this mantra: Never

quit on a bad day.


One of the reasons at Studio 360 we have multiple semesters, Fall semester September –

December), Spring semester (January – June), and Summer semester (July – August) is because we recognize that as a developing child committing to a shorter term semester helps them stick with something long enough to discover a passion for dance and learn about resiliency in the process.


This also allows parents to also have conversations with their child about commitment.

Depending on your child’s age, you can break it up into life events, for example, if you were

speaking to a kindergartner, “Dance starts when school starts and ends at Christmas.” This gives them an idea of time in their brain. You can also show them a calendar of how long that

commitment is. How many weeks/days/classes, etc. So that they really understand the

commitment. For older dancers, creating a signed agreement between the parent and dancer,

so when they have a challenging day show them the written agreement. Older dancers can also write a letter to themselves at the beginning of the season. Title it, “To my future self” When you feel like giving up I want you to remember…


If your child comes home and/or says at home they are not wanting to go to dance, take this as an invitation to step in and be the leader. You are honoring their feelings by saying you

understand, but also remind them of their commitment. This will teach them integrity. To do

what you say you are going to do. To honor the commitment to themselves.


We are the first person we will break promises too. That workout that doesn’t get done or that

chapter in that book you said you were going to read…and then it doesn’t happen. We are their role models. How can you use your life as a model for them? What have you done in your life that shows a commitment? Use that as a teachable moment! Maybe say, for every day you go to dance, mom is going to go for a workout. Or for everyday of dance, dad will read a chapter in his book. Seeing their role models stick out their own personal commitments will help them see that not every day is going to be like the first day! Some days are going to be challenging. But what do we do when we face a challenge? That is where the real lessons begin!


Sincerely Yours,

Natasha Leas