Lately, there is never a dull moment in our household. Transporting three kids to all of their activities is a juggling act especially when times conflict. We are in the midst of track, two basketball travel teams, Saturday football conditioning camp, year round piano lessons (all three) and choir. I know that I’m not the only mom running here and there, but boy is it tiring. Somehow we make it work.
I never thought I’d be one of those moms who is constantly shuffling her kids from one activity to the next. Well guess what? I am one of those moms. There is no way around it when you have three active kids. I haven’t figured out how to be two places at once, so my husband helps out with transportation when he can. I suppose we could choose not to get involved but that’s not how we roll.
Nurturing and developing three kids, all different ages with different personalities and interests requires patience, love and stamina. We believe that extracurricular activity is important because it helps to develop a variety of skills. I’ve even become pretty skilled at napping in the car while waiting on the kids.
As parents, we have done our best to introduce our kids to various activities, as well as fulfill their requests. They each have developed their own unique talents and we are quite proud of them.
The weather has been beautiful and with it comes “spring fever”. I am hearing more and more complaints from my ten and eleven year old which is perfectly normal. Normal in the sense that they spontaneously decide they would rather be doing something else. That’s what kids do. All of a sudden we have aches, pains, and all kinds of self diagnosed diseases. Funny how that happens on the same day as practice.
One of my kids mentioned quitting their sport in the middle of the season. So we had the talk about “quitting”.
We listen, and allow them to express their thoughts and feelings. Unbeknownst to them, my husband and I have agreed not to feed into the complaints. Of course, health issues, injury or any other cause for concern should always be taken into consideration.
These are some of the highlights from the conversation (from the parent perspective):
- Being a part of a team is important (together, everyone achieves, more). Your team is counting on you.
- Commitment and follow through are important. You made a promise when you joined the team.
- Quit after the season is over. Next year try something different.
- Remember that you chose the activity and we support you.
- Starting something and not finishing it is not a habit we want to develop.
(I’m not certain but I doubt there is any data out there that suggests that kids who quit will grow up to be quitters.)
- Rejuvenation is important. We’ll be sure to enjoy some days filled with down time.
- Quitting is the best decision only if we thought you would be damaged for life as a result of finishing out the season. I don’t think that is the case.
- Quitting in the middle of the season is not an option.
Then I said, ” what if your dad and I just decided to quit working without a plan because we didn’t feel like going anymore?” “Believe it or not, we have days like that too but we press on.” “If we quit, the Disney trip that we have planned in July with your cousins would be cancelled.” Of course, the look on their faces was priceless. Enough said.
I’ve learned to help them make the connection in a way that they understand. I keep it real by using examples that make sense to them. They are obviously old enough and capable of formulating thoughts and opinions of their own.
All they could say was, “we get it mom.”
Time is flying by, so I’m doing my best to find joy in the hustle and bustle. Before you know it, they’ll be off to college.
How do you engage with your kids when they want to quit?
Peace and Blessings,