Post # 1
So, FI and I are sitting on the couch last night watching baseball when FI makes the comment, “ I hope our kids want to play baseball one day”. I agree… we both grew up in sports families and both played sports growing up. Somehow the discussion developed into- if our child was on a sports team and wanted to quit mid season, would we let them?
My immediate answer was NO ( unless , of course, they are in danger or in an unsafe environment). I feel like kids can learn at an early age to be team players and the importance of following through with a commitment, even if you don’t feel like it all the time.
My FI shocked me when he said that he would let the kids quit if they didn’t like it because he didn’t want them doing something they didn’t enjoy doing as a hobby. WTF…this caused a huge argument! We sat there fuming over our hypothetical children who may or may not want to quit an imaginary baseball game sometime in the next 10-15 years! What really shocked me is the fact that my FI is definitely a go getter, no quitter, endures til the end type of guy! He was raised in a farming community, worked hard all his life.. but he thinks it is ok for JR to quit mid season!
So, what do you Bees think about this subject?
Post # 3
Nope…I tell my daughter this before we sign up. You make a commitment to your team and if at the end of the season you don’t want to play that is fine, but you finish the season.
Post # 4
I’ll tell you from experience….forcing children to do something they don’t want to will only cause problems. My mother forced my brothers and I to do a whole host of things we didn’t want to…everything from scouts to piano lessons to soccer….and the only result was that when she finally got sick and tired of fighting with us over it (every week, every day) we reacted by never doing that thing again (for instance, despite the fact that when I started I loved piano lessons, to this day I still refuse to touch a piano just because of the bad memories)
I think you need to judge each situation on its own. For example, if Jr. want to quit because he feels over loaded with other stuff, you should let him. You don’t want to put more stress in his life than need be. If he wants to quit because he’s being bullied or is having problems with another player, then you should back your boy no matter what. If he wants to quit just because he wants to spend more time playing video games, well, then maybe you should force him to keep going.
Either way, there’s no sense in fighting with your FI over something that may never even happen! It’s good to talk about possible scenarios, but you both have to be willing to say “well, this is all hypothetical and doesn’t REALLY matter, so lets not argue” at some point!
Post # 5
I’ve looked at it from a money standpoint. If the child bugs me to play baseball, and I sign them up, they have to play the entire season. We’re not wasting my money. If he doesn’t like it, we won’t sign up next season. If he just wants to try something out, then we’ll sign up for a camp. Nothing long term. However, if the child didn’t ask to play baseball, and I or his dad forced him to play the sport and we find out he doesn’t like it, I wouldn’t force him to finish the season. That would be our bad. Not the child’s.
ETA: My kids are 19 and 17 and we’ve experienced years of soccer, ballet, modern dance, gymnastics, baseball, track and band. My policy for the most part has been you get to pick what you’re going to do, but you’re going to do something! You’re not going to sit at home in front of the boob tube every evening. You’re going to be involved. And if you pick something I have to shell out money for, you’re not wasting my money. So pick very carefully!
ETA 2: I have forced a couple things on the kids. Girl Scout Camp (1 weekend) and Marching Band. Daughter hated camping but it forced her to pick wisely for herself the next time. Son dreaded marching band in the beginning, but it turned out to be the highlight of his high school years and it got him a college scholarship. It’s a tough balancing act.
Post # 6
I picked maybe because I would obviously make exceptions for injuries or if there was extreme bullying going on with kids on the team. It would have to be really serious and making him/her miserable basically. But in general, I think that children should learn to follow through on their commitments. I was always told that I couldn’t quit a sport/activity mid-season, and I never did. I missed a few practices here and there, but was never allowed to quit. I think it’s a good lesson to teach children, and sports and after school activities can be expensive!
ETA: I would NEVER force my child to do a particular activity just because I want them to. If they ask to do something, that’s when it would be on the condition that they follow through with it. I don’t care what sports or activity they want to do, but once they start, they’re going to finish.
Post # 7
With the exception of obvious health related issues I answered no. As someone who participated in sports and still does to this day I know that not only is it important to see the season through but also the impact that occurs to the other players when someone quits.
That being said I would make sure before hand that whatever my kid was signing up for is something they really want to do. I’m not going to force my kid to join a team if they are simply not interested, but if they do committ they need to see it through to the end of the season.
Post # 8
Only if there was some kind of health issue…
Otherwise finishing something is a HUGE deal.. especially for this up coming generation these days who generally are able to do as they please and don’t get that chance to learn how to persevere and endure situations we don’t like.
We’ve already talked to DS about this b/c he wants to start soccer this next year… we know him enough to know that he usually wants to throw in the towel when things get frustrating SOOOOOOOOOOOO we forewarned him that once he starts he has to finish…. he won’t have to do a next season if he ends up not liking it BUT he WILL finish what he starts…
Like a pp said… Because not only does that build his character, but it teaches and shows him that there are others that depend on and are effected by his actions (aka his team)
ETA: I was allowed to quit things I started… gymnastics (out of fear), dance (got bored), and sports in high school (the exception to running into some MAJOR issues with the school.. we almost had to sue them).. overall though being able to just throw in the towel had a pretty big effect on me… I quit school, and had a tendency to run from things whenever they got hard, scared me (like relationships), or I just got bored….. I was STILL dealing with this as an adult when I met DH… thanks GOD he was able to work through that with me.
Post # 9
Interesting question. When I was in high school, I played water polo for a season, and I HATED it, and I was the worst person on the team. I tried to quit mid-season, and just stopped going to practice, but my mom sent me back (with a note for the coach, who was very gracious.) Even to this day, I’m not sure if that was the right decision. I don’t think it negatively impacted me, but perhaps it did have some effect on my work ethic? Or I don’t know how it would have effected me if I had been allowed to quit.
(sorry, this is like the third time I’ve not been able to recall the proper use of “affect” vs. “effect.” grr…)
Post # 10
No – I think kids need to learn to follow through with their commitments. If they learn at an early age that they can just quit if they decide that something gets tough or they don’t love doing something, that mentality will carry over to their adult life.
I decided to try a baton twirling team in 3rd grade (I don’t know why I thought I would like this, but I wanted to sign up). A couple weeks in, I decided I hated it. But I stuck out the season and preformed in the recital and then swore I would never do baton again. It didn’t kill me to spend a few months doing something that wasn’t my absolute favorite.
ETA: My one exception to this would be a injury/health related issue.
Post # 11
Thanks for all of the responses! We both realize it is hypothetical and realized that we wouldn’t want to force them to do anything that they didn’t initiate. It just threw me off because we are both pretty competitive ( sports wise—not with each other) and have always agreed on parenting strategies up until this point. I guess I just assumed that if they were going to start something, they would finish it!
Post # 12
No, they would not have to do it another season but we also wouldn’t buy expensive equipment unless they played a couple seasons and committed to another couple. Additionally, I think injury is an okay but not perfect excuse to quit. I was permanently sidelined less than a month into the season the year I made the school soccer team and because I was B team, my mom let me quit. Also, I was not allowed to run for 6 months so I would have rather spent those 6 months out at the barn doing something that didn’t damage my ankle (as much, that was null when the pony drug me along the wall).
(I want our kids to marching band, however, most schools start them younger so they shoudl know by high school if they like their instrument and even starting that most instrument stores have a rent to own option. The kids would have to stick out the school year at the very least. As for horses, I’m a firm believer in school horses and sharing ponies until they can do all the chores on their own. )
Post # 13
my parents allowed me to quit everything I tried out and I really regret it. I think they were just avoiding a tantrum, or maybe they were trying to seem laid back. I so wish they had forced me to follow through.
Post # 14
My sister and her husband made my nephew play three seasons of football, even though he didn’t like it. Their reason was that they’d paid for the helmet, and by gum they were going to get their money’s worth. His father always assumed that he’d play football, and when the time came my nephew didn’t want to let his father down so he said he’d do it. My BIL threw a hissy fit when my nephew finally told them he was done, but eventually he came around. Now my nephew is doing very well in wrestling and track.
Anyway, I don’t have children but I certainly hope that I’ve learned something from the above story.
Post # 15
I’d definitely let my son quit… I don’t like sports though and I’m pretty sure his dad pushed him into football because he never even mentioned it before this summer. Plus it gives his dad an excuse to see him on my week (to take him to games and practice). My son doesn’t even seem to like it.
Post # 16
I think it just never really occurred to me nor was it an option to quit so I didn’t ever approach my parents about it. Once, in 4th grade, I wanted to quit the all stars softball league and they wouldn’t let me. I finished the season, and I DID dislike it.. but, it didn’t ruin me for life, sports or even softball for that matter.
I guess.. when we do have kids wayyyy down the road and they want to get involved in sports we will have to let them know upfront that they can pick whichever one they want, and weigh the pros and cons with them so they have an expectation going in that it isn’t something to just drop if they don’t feel like going to practice or whatever the case may be.