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Should You Let a Child Quit a Hobby or Sport?

Find out if you should let a child quit a hobby or sport in this Howcast video about child anxiety issues.

Transcript

We're going to talk about should you let your child quit a hobby or sport. Now, if you're having that question right now it means that either you are thinking there's a problem with it or your child is somehow behaving or talking like there's a problem with their hobby or sport. So the first thing is you got to do your basic collection of information and find out what's going on, why does your child want to give something up or why is maybe there's some advice out there that they are not best suited for this or should give it up. Often it comes from the child, maybe they're arguing, they're skipping the activity, they're not happy about it afterwards so you want to figure out why. Is it the wrong fit for your child? Is it that something is happening in that activity that needs to be addressed and corrected. Maybe there is some child there that's in the activity that's being problematic for your child. Or maybe it's the adult supervision or a coach that is somehow making it unpleasant or difficult for your child, because a lot of times it's a fit between the activity, your child and whatever that particular coach or environment is.

If you come to the conclusion that it's really maybe a bad time, your child's overloaded, they've lost interest in what they're doing, then you need to come up with a plan for if it's okay to quit. So, if it's taking a toll on them emotionally, if it's taking a toll on other parts of their life, interfering with school or sleep or they're just not happy now that they've tried it, then it may be okay to let them give it up. But you want to have a plan for giving it up. You want to talk to whoever it is in charge, whether it's the dance teacher, or the soccer coach, and what's a good way to stop an activity because you want your child to realize that you take something on, you're responsible for it, but certainly things can change but there's a responsible grownup way to manage that as well.

So then you can have the plan. Now, if it's something that this child really wanted to do and there was a lot of time and maybe money involved, you want to think about if there's some other kinds of things that you want to put in place for that, and maybe that they're quitting and they now don't have free time is that they're going to do something else productive with that time. It's one thing for a child to say, "I don't want to go anywhere and I want to sit home and play videogames." Maybe that wasn't what you had in mind. It's a different kind of inactivity. They're going to be reading or they are going to be engaged in something else that's creative or something athletic. So, again, think about the form of the activity may not be right but maybe you need to replace it with something else that's productive or just fun for your child, rather than just saying we're going to give it up and pack it in.

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