You’re in the car with your child, and they tell you that they want to quit. What do you do?
1. Understand the Why
Whether it’s gymnastics or another activity, the first step is to be understanding. Before you say anything or try to convince your child to stick with it, try to understand why. If there are underlying reasons why your child wants to quit, try to uncover them.
Your child may tell you that a program or activity is too hard. Perhaps there is another kid in the program that teases them. Or maybe the coach is too strict, and the activity just isn’t any fun. If they give you an answer, but it seems vague, gently push for more information. For example, if your child “doesn’t feel like going,” then it may take some light coaxing to find out exactly why your child wants to quit. Understanding the specific reason helps to determine your next course of action.
2. Offer Alternatives
Once you’ve determined why your child wants to quit, there may be one particular part of the activity that’s creating a problem that might have an alternative solution. Offering alternatives could present a solution that still keeps them engaged in the activity.
Offer alternatives for your child to consider before quitting. “What if we…” is a great way to start. And then follow up with options, like: “…talked to the coach about this” or “…went to a class on a different day.” These alternative options can alleviate some of the problems your child has with the activity while giving them the opportunity to change things rather than quit altogether.
3. Explain the Benefits
If your child tells you that they want to quit because “it’s too hard” or they’re “not good at it,” then it might help to share with your child some of the benefits that they might not see for themselves.
Rather than just telling your child they can’t quit, explain why it benefits them to keep going. For example, they get to see their friends in class. Or they get to earn more stickers or gold stars for attendance. Don’t make your child feel bad for wanting to quit. Instead, help them to understand the benefits of continuing.
Kids First Gymnastics in Cedar Rapids puts your kids first. If you’re not sure if your child will like gymnastics, no sweat. We offer a four-week trial to give you and your child a chance to find out if we’re a good fit.
To learn more about the details of our four-week trial and how to get started, contact us today.