It feels inevitable, doesn’t it? When your kid gets involved in a new activity, there usually comes a day when they say they don’t want to do it anymore. As a parent, you don't think much of it the first or second time it happens. However, by the fourth or fifth time they decide they want to give it all up, you might be getting a bit frustrated.
But how are you supposed to encourage them to continue playing what was once their favorite sport, or to keep attending the pottery club they once were super excited for? Read on for some tips that might help.
Only Try One Activity at a Time
If your child only has one thing to do after school, they’re not going to get overwhelmed. That makes them much more likely to stick to the activity and enjoy it. They’re not going to be too tired to keep up, or constantly thinking about how many other things they need to do before they go home. School, club, home, over!
It’s nice to get your kids involved in as many extra-curriculars as possible. You’re only thinking about how much fun they can have, and preparing them for their future. Extra-curricular activities do look good on a college application after all. But if their schedule is too busy, they might start feeling overwhelmed and decide that they don't want to do any of it. So it's a good idea to stick to one thing at a time.
Don’t Take it Too Seriously
When you take an activity too seriously, your child is going to find it hard to keep up with the way you feel about it. They might feel like they’re being forced into doing something they don’t want to do, and that you actually enjoy the activity more than they do. Kids do pick up on it when adults try to live vicariously through them!
And while it’s nice to print out baseball lineup cards for your child’s little league team, and it’s good to get excited on the sidelines when they score a goal in soccer, make sure your enthusiasm matches theirs. You don't want them to feel like you’d be disappointed if they decided to stop, so be careful with the way that you try to encourage them.
Talk About Why They Want to Quit
If it comes to a point where your child absolutely refuses to keep going, you’re going to have to bring out the big guns: talking to them about their decision. So, why do they want to quit? What’s going on at the club or activity that has destroyed their joy in it?
Talk about it. And don’t be judgemental about the reasons they give you. You can discuss ways you can support them. It might be a good idea to insist that they give it another chance by going for a few more sessions, but if they're truly miserable, it’s time to pull them out.
If your child is finding it hard to enjoy an activity that they're involved in, you should consider the points above as you decide you're best course of action.
This is a contributed post.