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What are your rules on kids quitting things?


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What are your rules for your kids on quitting things like lessons, sports, or the like? 

 

 

Do you take breaks from things so your kids don't burn out? 

 

Are some things ok to quit and others are not? 

 

 

 

How busy are your younger kids?  Kids 11 and under.  Do you have activities everyday?  

 

Do you take prolonged breaks?

 

 

 

 

 

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No, we definitely do not have activities every day. I'd go nuts and she'd never get any down time.

 

I don't need to have rules because dd is such a joiner, lol. If I needed to develop rules, I'd think about why I care so much. She doesn't get to quit swimming until I say so because it's a safety issue. I couldn't give two hoots whether she becomes a proficient ceramicist, so if she was taking a pottery class and wanted to quit, I'd expect her to finish whatever I'd paid for unless she had a good reason not to.

 

I certainly want her to graduate with some real skills, but we also have to consider that childhood is the best time to give things a go. As a uni student, they're mostly too poor. As adults with small kids, they won't have the time. Retirement is a long way away and not everyone makes it.

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What are your rules for your kids on quitting things like lessons, sports, or the like? 

 

 

Do you take breaks from things so your kids don't burn out? 

 

Are some things ok to quit and others are not? 

 

 

 

How busy are your younger kids?  Kids 11 and under.  Do you have activities everyday?  

 

Do you take prolonged breaks?

 

For sports, or anything with a season (where a team is relying on them, or there's a performance after a certain period, etc.), they must finish the season and cannot quit in the middle, leaving their teammates in a lurch. If, at the end of the season, they don't want to sign up for the next season, that's okay and we won't force it. 

 

If my kids want a break from something, yes, we'd let them take it. 

 

If they are in an activity that doesn't require team participation, (ie, guitar lessons, or piano lessons), and they decide mid-year that they'd like to quit, we'd probably have them think about it for a while, discuss it with them in depth, find out why, etc. If they could verbalize why (or we could tell from non-verbal cues that they were serious), we'd have no problem quitting; we would finish out the current month or whatever, but we'd let them stop. 

 

Under 11 we don't do much. When the older boys were those ages, we did t-ball and/or soccer; at those ages, that meant a practice once or twice a week, and a game once a week, and those were for pretty short seasons (and the 2 sports are not in the same season). Our youngest hasn't been involved with  much at all, but does attend a once/week homeschool enrichment class. We have looked for other activities for him but not found anything yet, and we wouldn't schedule anything that had us out of the house every single day unless it was necessary (things like physical therapy, etc.)

 

If we were feeling busy, yes, we'd take breaks. Our middle son is taking a break from his activity of the past 2 years this year; if he wants to return next year, we'll let him. If he wants to move on to something else, that will be fine too. If he wants to not fill that space, that will also be fine. 

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My kids aren't joiners. So I have no rules about joining to many things.

 

My rule is everyone must have:

 

A weekly activity that works their brain. For my boys that is piano. For Dh it is Japanese class. For me that is dance class. I will be taking a sewing class when one opens up.

 

A weekly activity that works their body. Dh and I do dancing. The kids and I do running club twice a week.

 

We are out of the house at least ever other day, but all the activités are walking distance.

 

 

I suppose I wouldn't let them quit the occasional library things we sign up for. But they know what they are getting into Since the ones they sign up for are all very similar. They are also short term, as in one hour a week for at most six weeks. They are taking up a space that someone else could have used, so I feel they should make use of it.

 

Piano and running club can be quit, but must first be replaced by something.

Edited by Julie Smith
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What are your rules for your kids on quitting things like lessons, sports, or the like? 

They can only try it once. That is, if they try it and don't like it and quit, they can't go back.

 

 

Do you take breaks from things so your kids don't burn out? 

We've never needed to do that.

 

Are some things ok to quit and others are not? 

No. Anything can be quit. :-)

 

 

 

How busy are your younger kids?  Kids 11 and under.  Do you have activities everyday?  

No regularly scheduled activities during the day, so no homeschool sports/clubs/dance, etc., before 4 or 5 o'clock in the afternoon. Dance class (Scottish Highland dance) once a week in the early evening, competitions on weekends during spring and summer. 4-H, one evening meeting a month, project meetings as needed.

 

Do you take prolonged breaks?

Not really. We tried something, and if we liked it we kept on; if we didn't, after a good try, we dropped it forever.

 

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It depends on the activity.  Things that have people depending on you like team sports I am more apt to make them stick out the season unless they have a great reason to quit.  Thing we have invested money in are stuck out until the end again unless there is a good reason not to.  It is is lessons that don't have a set commitment I would be more likely to let them drop if they wanted.

 

We don't tend to do breaks, but it has happened occasionally.  The boys do swimming but due to schedules we don't do it every session.

 

I think any thing can be quit, but you have to take into account how it affects others.

 

When my kids were younger they did one or two activities a week.  Scouts for the boys along with a sport, although for DD dance pretty much took up all her time.  For a while she tried to do soccer too but it was too much.  I try not to overbook, but it is hard when you have three kids and each wants to do things.  Right now we have a pretty decent balance and I try to time them so they work for us.

 

 

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What are your rules for your kids on quitting things like lessons, sports, or the like? 

 

 

Do you take breaks from things so your kids don't burn out? 

 

Are some things ok to quit and others are not? 

 

 

 

How busy are your younger kids?  Kids 11 and under.  Do you have activities everyday?  

 

Do you take prolonged breaks?

 

We don't have set rules...it would probably be taken on a case-by-case basis.

Swimming is a life skill.  So they could take a break (after a lesson set finishes, of course), but we'll require competency at some point.  Whereas needle felting (for instance), I don't care if they master it, so they could quit that.  So yes, I guess some things are okay to quit and some aren't.

 

I would also want them to finish out what we've paid for or what has others relying on them, unless it was damaging in some way.

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They all had to learn to swim.  If they joined a soccer team, they had to play the whole season if not injured in a way that precluded playing (they never wanted to quit anyway).  My kids didn't want to quit so I never really had to come up with a policy.  Only when I was with my youngest in high school were there two things she wanted to quit, youth group- the mostly social part, not the bible study on a separate day which she still liked and dive team/practice.  The dive team didn't have meets or any meets that she would qualify for and she had a medical reason for stopping==her joints would subluxate and she couldn't make proper dives because she was trying to keep her joints in place.  I had no problem with these decisions.

 

As to doing things every day, I don't think there ever was a time we did things every day.  Depending on where we were living and which children were being taught, some periods we had many activities and some periods much more minimal activities.  Looking back I really think that having activities was one of the best parts of homeschooling for them and for me. 

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Some things are not optional. Swimming is not optional in my family. Kids are either in lessons or team year round from age 2 to 8 and then summer only until 12. I don't consider swimming across a pool once proficient because boating accidents happen a lot more than 25 yards from shore.

 

In addition to swimming I required one other physical activity during the school year. The child could choose the activity, but they had to keep up physical activities year round.

 

With all optional activities (physical, creative or academic):

If the child chose the activity he had to finish the contract period. One of my DC changed sports every season. He tried dry sport available and he went to practice for the 8-10 week period. My DD decided she wanted to do curriculum level classical ballet. The contract period for that was 10 months. She was reminded she would have to stick with it the whole year (she stuck with it several years, but she really thought about the choice when we were making the commitment).

My DC did stints in art classes, theatre, science clubs, etc, all knowing the required start and end time.

 

Activity frequency. This is very family dependent. When my oldest was small he had a lot of motor skill problems. Being in physical activities helped. He also had social skills needs. He was solid academically. So our homeschool built in 2 days of gymnastics, 2 days of swimming, 2 days of another sport, Cub scouts, 4H,2 days of OT and a social skills drama group. I coached him on social problem solving before each thing. If he had been in school we would not have been able to do all this. But it was set up to help him. And it still had breaks at home too.

 

Later my DD just wanted to try everything. So I gave in and she did a year of doing something everyday. This was second grade. At first she loved it. By March she told me the next year she wanted some time at home (that was my goal, I'm glad the plan didn't backfire).

 

After age 8 things got easier. The older kids started to have activities where I could drop off. I'd plan weekly shopping near the activity or I'd drop off and dh would pick up. Also my kids stopped going for team sports, do that allowed us to mostly reclaim Saturday and Sunday because we didn't have games. I liked being overbooked weekdays if that meant weekends were open.

 

Now we just have youngest who has special needs. Not a lot of stuff available for him, but it's all on weekends.

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My kids aren't joiners. So I have no rules about joining to many things.

 

My rule is everyone must have:

 

A weekly activity that works their brain. For my boys that is piano. For Dh it is Japanese class. For me that is dance class. I will be taking a sewing class when one opens up.

 

A weekly activity that works their body. Dh and I do dancing. The kids and I do running club twice a week.

 

We are out of the house at least ever other day, but all the activités are walking distance.

 

I love this idea of one brain and one body activity....And would LOVE the idea of everything in walking distance. 9 year old foster son's school is in walking distance so any after school activities for him would fit that. Other than that, EVERYTHING is 12-15+ miles away...In one of 3 directions.

 

Dh works 2nd shift so that means I am the sole driver for the 5 kids (older are all cognitively impaired and will never drive) during the week. I just can't have 5 kids each in 2 activities with all of that driving.

 

Are you in a big city where you can walk to everything?

Edited by Ottakee
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It depends.

 

I made them stay in boy scouts for 10 years!  Ok, well, they wanted to 90% of the time, but there were times they thought of quitting.  I urged them to stick it out, and they did.  Two of my boys have Eagle and youngest is still a scout.

 

Anything I had to pay for I made them stay the season or sessions I paid for, but they could quit after that if they still wanted to.

 

There hasn't been a whole lot they wanted to quit.  We talked it all out before they joined or signed up.  I had to have their buy in and not just a "maybe I want to try" mentality.

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We likely have a different goal and perspective. I use extracurricular sports as therapy for DS. They are not team sports. I require two - four days per week of a choice of a therapeutic sport. We do two days now, with leisure bike riding 5 days per week as a goal. We take off for illness or downtime occasionally, and a few weeks off every few months between sessions. We rotate between therapeutic sports. DD is allowed to join in if she desires or not.

 

Music lessons are mandatory for DS (also viewed as therapeutic imo), and instrument changes are allowed after 4-6 months of consistent lessons.

 

We have extracurriculars / coop twice a week, plus another day park day after school, and sometimes play dates in addition. I am currently teaching the instrument as we just are beginning, so no outside lessons.

 

Swimming is a required sport twice a week until safe and independent, then if desired.

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I've learned that having specific rules about things like this doesn't work. Or, I should say, didn't work for us.

 

In theory, I wouldn't let a kid quit in the middle of something where people depended on them.  Soccer, for example.  Except, when the kid hated it so much and was not good enough compared to the others, so they didn't benefit the team anyway.   That happened with one of my kids the third year of playing. That was the first middle school year, which is the year it got a lot more competitive.  In elementary school, it was fun, social, exercise.  Then suddenly, it was serious.   When it started getting stressful, we quit.  In that case, since no one was depending on the child, it didn't really matter anyway.  

 

I made my daughter stick with piano way too long, because I listened to people who warned me she'd regret quitting when she was an adult.  I should have trusted my kid more than strangers who didn't even know her.  She may regret it - who knows? - but she will know why she quit. 

 

As far as finishing out something we paid for... another thing I agree with in theory.  However, if the activity isn't working, it isn't working. The money has been paid whether the kid finishes the activity or not.  If it's torture for the kid, saying "well, we paid good money for that, you have to stay" doesn't make sense.   There is also a cost in time, transportation, and (possibly) relationship with the child to consider.  

 

That said... we didn't have our kids in a ton of activities.  Swimming, a couple years of soccer or baseball, art classes, some other things I can't remember.  I don't like being busy and nothing is within walking distance of us!  

 

 

 

 

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Dd17 has played the violin since she was very young. It came easily to her and she was pretty talented at an early age. She hit a patch (around 10-12 or so) when it became really hard and she didn't enjoy it anymore. She would have quit if we allowed it.  Everything (reading, academics, music, sports) had always come easily to her so I felt she needed to work through the violin struggle just to experience that not everything is easy and sometimes you have to work through it. She did continue but we also went out of our way to find ensembles and other music experiences so that it was no longer such a lonely, solitary activity. She came through the hard part, regained her love for it and has continued until age 17. She (and we) made the decision to quit lessons just this week. Her schedule is too full, she's not practicing and it's no longer a priority. She still loves to play and it's okay to put it on the backburner for now. 

 

Both kids tried a summer swim team and hated it. They had to finish the season and then we never went back. But Ds continues to swim weekly with another group. I kind of forced dd into trying volleyball when she was in 8th grade. She wasn't interested in it but I wanted her active and she didn't have a sport anymore after years of trying different things. She tried v-ball and ended up loving it. She now plays on a club team.

 

It depends on the activity and why they want to quit. I want them to try different things while they're young. 

 

We did allows ds to quit a swim team and not finish the season even though it was paid for. It was a terrible fit for him, had become a negative experience and he was not harming the team by quitting. No regrets.

Edited by samba
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The rule in our house for sports:

You made a commitment to a team. You are in it until the end of the season. You don't have to continue after the season is over. Quitting mid-season would require a reason other than "I don't like it"

 

Classes: committed until the end of the session. Same quitting reason as above.

 

Hobby that I don't pay for: quit at any time.

 

Life skill, such as swimming, proficiency determines when you can quit.

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We do sports on a semester/season basis, often switching from one thing to another, trying new ones, and returning to each sport-of-interest once a year or so.

 

Until recently (9 and 12) I have had the goal that most seasons our extra curricular sports should be only one day per week (though two activities on the same day is fine). Recently my 12yo seems more engaged in a particular sport so I'm doing 2 days per week so that she can do that sport more continuously, while still having a variety. (Younger is still on the variety plan, but more, now that two days are available.)

 

I never consider it to be 'quitting' to do something else next season -- that's just 'not continuing' and it's normal for us. I think things would need to be truly unusual for us to be thinking about quitting within an already-registered period of time. It hasn't happened.

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No specific rules.  I take things on a case by case basis.  We didn't do outside activities every single day (I'm talking the organized stuff, not hanging around at the park).  For one thing that gets expensive!  I did make them finish stuff if there was a commitment to a group.  Generally I allow(ed) them to quit after that.  Sometimes, if I felt like it was just a matter of burn out or they needed a bit of a nudge, I'd try to find a way to encourage them to continue.  I never forced it though.

 

Most of these things I see as fun extras they do for enjoyment.  So I don't see the point in forcing that.

 

 

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Depends on the kid and the activity. Kids have to finish the year or season or get to a certain level of competence. Usually we require the activity or sport to be replaced, not eliminated.

 

For example, ds1 wanted to quit swimming at 15. We agreed (with sadness, he was very good) but required that he fill the time with a sport (water polo) and a job (lifeguarding/coaching). 

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Depends on the kid and the activity. Kids have to finish the year or season or get to a certain level of competence. Usually we require the activity or sport to be replaced, not eliminated.

 

For example, ds1 wanted to quit swimming at 15. We agreed (with sadness, he was very good) but required that he fill the time with a sport (water polo) and a job (lifeguarding/coaching). 

 

 

Yes, this is true for us too.

 

When my son wanted to quit Boy Scouts, I was devastated.  I had really wanted him to get to Eagle Scout.  But, he was just done for a variety of good reasons. but, we said he had to find something else to do.   He went to the local firehouse and volunteered. (In our area, most of the fire stations are staffed completely by volunteers.)  It was a great decision for him.  

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Our only rule is that they must meet their commitments. So if they sign up for soccer, then they need to complete the season before quitting. Or if I've signed a contract to pay for a full-year of ballet classes, then they need to complete the full year. Once the commitment is finished, then continuing is up to them. 

 

Oh, and they must learn how to swim. If they learn in the course of hanging out at the pool, that's awesome. If not, then they are going to swim lessons until they are proficient in the water. Not diving or fancy strokes, just safe.

 

We don't deliberately take breaks, but I find that breaks happen naturally unless we seek out opportunities to do things year-round (like travel sports teams or year-round swim team). I have had kids quit activities and then decide later that they'd like to take them up again. That's fine too. 

 

My younger kids aren't too busy, but I'm definitely busy by the time I ferry 5 kids to all their activities. For my 11 & under kids:

ds11: Boy Scouts & piano lessons. He'll be starting spring baseball next month.

dd9: Ballet & piano lessons. 

ds6: No activities currently, but he'll be taking swim lessons this summer.

ds4: He'll be starting T-ball next month.

 

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Sigh.

 

So, this am my youngest says he thinks he wants to quit scouts.

 

I have told him he has to stick it out through the summer before deciding.

 

AND he has to have something to replace it.....sports, school club, something.

 

He just isn't enjoying this scout troop as much as the last.  But the last one was for homeschoolers only and we are no longer eligible to go.  And he doesn't want to be HSed anymore, he just wants to go with that troop.

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My kids are younger than 10, so we don't have set rules yet.

 

I have never had a kid that wanted to quit a sport midway through the season.  I really, really, really would hate dragging the kid that didn't want to be there, so I've waited until they pretty much beg to play.  For our kids, that's been 6.5, 4.5, and 5.5 so far.  My 4.5 year old is begging for dance classes, so I think we might do some kids Zumba at the Y this summer to check that out.

 

I had a kid quit choir, but I made him finish the semester until the big concert.  He actually didn't want to quit (or so he said), but he complained about it every week, so I told him I wasn't signing him up for it again, which he complained about.  :D  Me thinks he was into complaining too much about that.

 

I have 3 sons on 3 different sports teams, because they are just far enough apart in age (all 2 years apart).  That has us out of the house for 6 practices a week, then 3 games on the weekends, every season.  We also have one afternoon of choir.  I try to make some of the practices overlap, and we try to protect one or two afternoons at home every week.

 

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Sigh.

 

So, this am my youngest says he thinks he wants to quit scouts.

 

I have told him he has to stick it out through the summer before deciding.

 

AND he has to have something to replace it.....sports, school club, something.

 

He just isn't enjoying this scout troop as much as the last. But the last one was for homeschoolers only and we are no longer eligible to go. And he doesn't want to be HSed anymore, he just wants to go with that troop.

Could you talk to the troop leaders of the old troop? It seems unreasonable to me to kick a kid out who has been a member of the troop. Of course if they are meeting during school hours it's a moot point.

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When my older two were younger, I let them bounce around from activity to activity. They did soccer, got tired of it. Did gymnastics, got tired of it. Not in the middle of a session or season or whatever. They did the entire basketball season, but once that was over, we quit. They stuck with piano the longest but eventually both quit.

 

I used to have them involved in one, sometimes two, physical activities and music. Plus whatever co-op or whatever we were doing. Something education related. I scheduled piano lessons for the same time, with a teacher who lives on the other side of our neighborhood. It was a four minute drive. Dance, gymnastics, swimming, etc, these things just required a ride there and I sit there for an hour and drive them home. I read or drew or used my lap top. Sports like basketball and soccer were a little more annoying. I have killer allergies so sitting on a sideline at soccer practice was not fun. Attending games on Saturdays was a bit of a hassle. I think I'd feel differently if my kid was one of the good ones, but my child are very unathletic. They never had a chance to improve because we switched so often. Co-op was by far the most exhausting thing we did, requiring weekly teacher prep on my part and hours at co-op one day a week. But I much prefer to homeschool with a co-op. The social interaction for my kids, support for me, and ability to outsources classes (however imperfectly) was something I felt was valuable to us.

 

When Oldest went to public school, she quit everything and I let her. I encouraged her to join whatever she wanted at school, but she was deeply depressed and did nothing. Middle is now in public school and is in Science Olympiad and would be robotics and art clubs but all clubs meet at the same time (grr).

 

So now I have this three year old and she's this super outgoing kid (with two introvert parents) who goes stir crazy and drives me nuts if we stay at home two days in a row. So we are constantly on the go. I feel like I'm one of those crazed moms who overschedules her toddler. She's in a preschool co-op one day a week. We meet, have fun, age appropriate "lessons" and the kids play. She's in a dance class and a gymnastics class. She adores each activity and between times asks about going more often. She giggles and says things like, "Dance class is SO FUN!" And on the way home is subdued and sad that it's over. She'd probably love it if I'd double her classes, especially dance. Instead of letting her bounce around, I'm planning to keep her in dance and gymnastics for at least a few years. I picked the activities because I like them. The cost for equipment isn't bad for beginners (leotards, tights, shoes). They are indoors, and don't have a lot of weekend demands at this stage. A recital in May for dance. Also my daughter is an extreme girly girl who loves all things sparkly, frilly, and pink.

 

Oldest also joined a dance class through Youngest's dance studio. So that's what I'm doing each week. Two dance classes (different days of course), one gymnastics class, one low pressure co-op that I can skip if needed because they have a pretty relaxed attendance policy. Plus picking up Middle from school every day. Plus any library activities Oldest and Middle want to attend (we have an awesome teen librarian who plans all kinds of fun stuff). Both older girls have tabletop gaming groups (different groups, different days of course.) Basically, I'm constantly running my kids around and when I had two days in December where I didn't leave the house all day, it was the first time in months.

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I love this idea of one brain and one body activity....And would LOVE the idea of everything in walking distance. 9 year old foster son's school is in walking distance so any after school activities for him would fit that. Other than that, EVERYTHING is 12-15+ miles away...In one of 3 directions.

Dh works 2nd shift so that means I am the sole driver for the 5 kids (older are all cognitively impaired and will never drive) during the week. I just can't have 5 kids each in 2 activities with all of that driving.

Are you in a big city where you can walk to everything?

Perhaps you can find an activity you all like. For awhile we would all go swimming at the public pool on Fridays. I know of several families where everyone does martial arts. My Dh use to help run the local Artemis group. It is a computer game where you basically play Star Trek. You all have your own roles such as communications officer, weapons, navaiagation... and then you all work together to fly around the universe and complete missions.

 

We aren't in a huge city. Our population when joined with the city next door (and we are so close we should just be one city) is 500 000.

 

But it is very well designed, I think it has been in the top three of best designed cities in Canada on more than one list.

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We have activities most days.

 

I don't let my kids quit a team sport [season] after they sign up.  I tell them it's a commitment and we don't just walk away from commitments.  We have mutually dropped various activities that were not team / not mid-season because none of us was that into it, or we just couldn't make it work.  Since they were 7 or 8, I have asked them before signing them up for new things.  Before that, it was my decision.

 

TKD is something my kids would be happy to quit, but I want to continue to black belt.  (Currently we are brown + 1/4.)  We've hardly been to any classes in the past 4 months due to other activities and health issues.  I am going to insist on going back when we can.  They are going to groan about it and I don't care.  :)  I should note that we are paid up on classes until we get that black belt, however long that takes.  (I would also push back if they tried quitting scouts, but so far nobody has proposed that.)

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The only thing I have required is swim team. I think swimming is essential and we belong to a summer pool with a very fun swim team with a great coach. Joining the team was much cheaper (and more fun) than doing lessons. I said they had to do it until 8. My two boys went through phases where they said they didn't like it but by the time they were 8 they were swimming in the more competitive meets and having a blast with the team. Neither wanted to quit. My oldest is a swimmer and is now swimming year round and it's become his main sport. My second son has chosen to not swim in the winter as he doesn't really like having many organized activities but he loves summer swim because of all the fun parts and wants to keep swimming during the summer. 

 

Other than that, I would say it depends a lot on the kid and the scenario. I strongly encourage continuing with something through a commitment, whether that is a team sport season or through the time of music lesson performances. But I've learned every kid is different and has different needs and desires for extracurricular stuff. So we more go by what seems to be the best decision for that kid at that moment. That doesn't mean we go into an activity saying that "oh, we can quit if we don't like it". But they do know that if they absolutely hated something we would talk about it. 

 

Some examples: 

-When my oldest was a toddler I signed him up for swim lessons. He refused to get in the pool. I had paid for them and it was non-refundable but I weighed the loss of the money vs. sitting there every week with a newborn and a toddler who was crying and hating swimming. I chose not to go back after two lessons. He is now the swimmer in the family. 

 

-My middle son really does not like any kind of organized activity or anything that feels like "school". To him that is anything that requires regular practice or takes away from his free time. I had all the kids take piano because I felt strongly that they should have some music and I'm completely unmusical and couldn't give that to them as part of school. Piano because a huge issue. He hated it and it became something we were fighting over daily. He is also a kid who hates school. I decided that I just couldn't do it anymore. I had to make him do math but I didn't have to make him do piano. So we let him quit. We waited though until it was a time when he wasn't struggling. The spring before he quit he had a particularly tough (for him) recital piece. We encouraged him to stick with it and worked with him until he was able to play it. I felt like that if we had let him quit then the lesson would be "if something is hard, give up." But then when it was the fall and he was back to hating regular lessons we told him he could quit. That was about 18 months ago. Occasionally he will sit down at the piano now and play something and he is interested in taking trumpet lessons. I think the difference is that he is 18 months older and it's more of his decision. With him, I've learned that if he chooses it himself he is much more likely to be willing to do it. 

 

 

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The rule was you have to finish a season or if it was something like piano or skiing, you have to be good enough that you aren't in your own way anymore. So for example, if you are still uncomfortable on skis, you have to keep going. But if you could go skiing with friends in junior high and not embarrass yourself, you can quit lesssons. Interestingly, once he was comfortable on the skis, he didn't want to quit.

 

Piano, once he could sight read an intermediate piece of music and transpose or to another key, he was out of his own way, and he quit after his recital.

 

I was NOT big on keeping a lot of balls in the air. Swim in the summer, ski in the winter, learn to play respectable golf and tennis and have a lot of free running play time.

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What are your rules for your kids on quitting things like lessons, sports, or the like? 

She finishes out the season or what I've paid for. Competitive gymnastics is unique because it can be so intense and it's really normal to have ups and downs. The rule with gym is I will note that you said you wanted to quit and if you still feel that way in a month, you can quit. She's never still wanted to quit even for two weeks straight. I felt like maybe I was being a crazy gym mom, but when I talked to the other parents, they said they all have a similar policy....But she's a joiner. She wants to do everything. We have to have rules about how many things you can join. 

 

 

Do you take breaks from things so your kids don't burn out? 

Not really

 

Are some things ok to quit and others are not? 

Hmm...she loves swim team, but at this point, I would make her do it for another summer even if she didn't. It's done incredible things for her swimming, which I think she'll appreciate her whole life. Most any of our extras would be OK to quit. We do have a rule you have to do some kind of sport. 

 

How busy are your younger kids?  Kids 11 and under.  Do you have activities everyday?  

Yes. Monday co-op, Tuesday Gymnastics, Thursday Aerial silks/lyra and sometimes Girl Scouts, Friday Gymnastics. Summer we swap aerial for swimteam.  In the fall there is Lego League. B has preschool gymnastics on Mondays and I'm about to put him in swim lessons. But we are all happier busy. We would never be in this much stuff if they had to go to school, so we count our blessings that we can do so many things we enjoy. 

 

Do you take prolonged breaks?

No. You really can't take off gym and she'd be really sad to take of anything else!

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My only real hard and fast rule is that you can't quit anything mid-season/activity if other people are depending on your commitment. So a team, a play, a competition, etc. Nope.

 

In general, I've encouraged my kids to finish out the session or season or whatever before quitting. Usually that's fine. They're pretty good natured about stuff like that. If something is really cheap I admit it's a lot easier to let them let go of it midway through.

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My rule: They have to finish what I paid for (so it might be the month or the season, depending on how payments are set up) or like Farrar mentioned - if there are others depending on their participation, they see it to the end.

 

We do not do activities every day. My 11 year old plays one sport with practices Tue/Thu and tournaments one weekend per month.

 

My 14 year old is busier, with 2 activities, 1 is Mon/Tue/Thu, and the other one is Tue right before the first activity mentioned.

 

They sometimes attend youth group and youth group activities on Wed and weekends, but not consistently and only if they choose to go.

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