Every parent desires to foster resilience in their children, encouraging them to face challenges head-on. But what happens when they become indifferent to activities like basketball or play the violin, despite our best efforts to encourage and support them?

Renowned psychologist and family educator Vanessa Lapointe says that allowing children to quit activities is perfectly all right, unless it's immediately after a disappointment or an unfortunate experience. She says, “Even as adults, it’s hard for us to stick with something new - especially when we feel unsure, not good enough, or out of our element.”

Lapointe adds that if adults with developed brains and a reasonable grasp of the relationship between effort and results find it difficult, how much more challenging must it be for young kids? They lack the life experience to understand the mechanics of it all.

However, this doesn’t mean you should always give in when your children want to quit or refuse to do an activity. Embracing discomfort can be beneficial and can boost their confidence, even if they don't excel at it right away.

This tendency to push children to pursue and master a particular sport or activity often stems from parental aspirations. But Lapointe urges parents to avoid this and says that they should instead prioritize encouraging their children to do fun activities they actually enjoy. Encouraging children to explore various interests empowers them to discover what truly sparks their imagination and enthusiasm.

Ultimately, the decision to let children quit activities can be a learning experience for both parents and children. A mother of two boys from Cincinnati, Mary Kickel, says, “There has been no fallout from quitting.” She found that allowing her children autonomy in choosing their activities strengthened their relationship and encouraged her young ones to explore new opportunities.


Picture: 5-year-old Akim Camara (YouTube)