When she was faced with the dilemma of her kids quitting, she pondered a lot on the issue and how it impacted them.
As parents, many take up the responsibility to push their kids to grow and learn even when the going gets tough. While this is a great practice, it is beneficial only if done in healthy amounts. There is no point in urging kids to go beyond their capacity and in many cases, there can be a backfire for the overstimulation. TODAY shared an interview with author, actor and mom, Amy Wilson who put forth the idea that it is okay to quit in her podcast, ‘What Fresh Hell.' The mom spoke about the need to push kids just enough that they excel and don’t get burnt out. Experts added their input and it’s worth the knowledge.
The mom shared that her kids wanted to quit certain school activities for certain reasons and it made the mom reflect on how to react as a parent. Wilson said, “I was finding myself thinking that this was a very hard decision. They both wanted to quit. Should I let them? It didn't seem that simple to me.” She also wondered about what her kids would perceive quitting as and feared that it might become an unwanted habit. However, Wilson mentioned that her kids who are now teenagers haven’t had that great an impact from the instance. She mentioned that though it was a tough call to take, it didn’t seem significant in the latter years of her kids.
She pointed out the fact that no matter how much parents stress decisions like these, they generally don’t have a long-lasting impact on a child’s life. “But at the moment, even these smaller parenting decisions feel very important,” she added. So the question then was how would one know when it is okay to let kids quit? Lynn Lyons spoke with the outlet and confirmed that there is one period when parents should avoid considering quitting. When kids initially begin an activity, they are likely to be fatigued, drained and so on but the psychotherapist Lyons mentioned that these are common due to changes in routine and considering quitting would be an unnecessary option.
Lyons suggested considering the quitting aspect when things run more smoothly. “You're going to want to investigate when their—and your—resources are at their best," she said. She used the example of kids doing an activity and said that once kids have gotten used to the same, then parents can speak with them to figure out whether it's working out for them or not. Lyons pointed out that the urge to quit, especially at the beginning of an activity can be a “temporary glitch” and that quitting is not recommended. "Giving them a little space and time really does help," she added.
Furthermore, Lyons spoke about quitting something one’s child may be good at. In such cases, she recommended communicating and negotiating to see whether it really isn't working out. "You can ask if the activity is draining their bucket or filling their bucket," she said. Wilson shared that she ultimately decided to let her kid quit due to injuries and other reasons. What she picked up from her experience with her kids was, “If your child is ‘insistent, consistent, persistent’ about quitting, you should listen.”
How do we know when to let our kids quit the sport they hate or skip a homework assignment? Will it be our fault they miss out on the Olympics? Amy and Margaret discuss when they pushed (or didn't push) their kids and reflect on the outcomes.https://t.co/AoCiC1JITt pic.twitter.com/2mEodRvGaI— What Fresh Hell:Laughing in the Face of Motherhood (@whatfreshpod) February 15, 2023