Whether it’s a martial arts program or any other activity they’ve made a commitment to, it’s important for parents to be understanding of these desires before saying yes or no. There may be underlying reasons as to why a child wants to quit, and take the time to deliberate exactly how you’d like to respond after careful consideration. After all, every situation is different, and while you certainly don’t want to teach your kids that quitting is the right thing to do, but there may be some reasons why quitting is the best option.
Understand the Why
One of the most important questions to ask your child when they announce they’d like to quit is “why?”. If they say a program or activity is too hard, it may take some light coaxing to help them feel that, though it may be hard now, they’ll get better and ultimately the activity will become easier.
If their answer seems vague, push for a little more information. For instance, if a kid just “doesn’t feel like going”, the underlying reason may be more serious, like a bully in the class that keeps your kid from enjoying themselves. Understanding the reason helps to determine the next course of action.
If you’ve determined that your child wants to quit for a reason that isn’t too serious, offer alternatives to consider before quitting. “What if we…” is a great way to start, and follow up with options like “talked to the instructor about this” or “went to a class on a different day of the week”. These options might alleviate some of the problems your child has with the activity and gives them the opportunity to change things rather than quit altogether.
Explain The Benefits
Rather than just telling a child they can’t quit, explain why it would benefit them to keep going. For instance, they get to see their friends in class, or they get to earn more gold stars for their attendance. Don’t make them feel bad for wanting to quit, but help them to understand that there is a point and purpose to keep going, and once they do, they’ll see that whatever they were worried about is not that big of a problem.
At Team Rhino Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, we offer programs that help kids stay motivated and engaged. To find out more about what our programs, contact us today.