Are You Raising Quitters Too?
My son was like a dog with a ball - all he wanted to do was play tennis. Mom, please let's play tennis in the yard; can I take tennis lessons? please? tennis! tennis! tennis!
Finally, I found a small club where he could take lessons after school and off we went. And (you know what is coming next, right?) he hated it and wanted to quit. It was a question of expectations. His expectation was that he was going to be an awesome tennis player; the coach's expectation was that he was going to do drills and learn how to hit the ball.
Every week,dragging him there was a painful process. But I made him finish out the term and he hasn't picked up a tennis racket since.
The Tiger Mom in me (it is a very, very small part of me) wonders if I should have kept him in it even longer. He may never know what it is like to be a good tennis player because he quit. But who am I kidding? I have let my kids quit extracurriculars mid-season if they were truly having a bad time and it was escalating up to a huge power struggle and spilling into the rest of their lives.
But I have always felt guilty. I think every mother feels guilty about letting their kids quit extracurriculars and most of us have let them do it.
So I was happy to see this segment by parenting expert and sort of reasonable-sounding person, Michele Borba:
Phew, off the hook. Decide on a case-by-case basis; that is a parenting philosophy I can live with.
Have you let your kids quit an extracurricular? Do you feel guilty or do you think it was the right thing to do (or both)?
Want more chaos? Last year, I wrote about why I sex education is important in schools.