“Children have a healthy desire to experiment,” says author and parent educator Nancy Samalin. Their interest fades and they move on to the next project. But they also might quit because they get easily frustrated.

The goal for parents, Samalin says, “is to offer their kids plenty of encouragement—but not to put unnecessary pressure on them.”

To help kids finish what they start, Samalin offers the following suggestions:

  • Make sure the sport or other activity is what your child wants—not just what you want.

  • Let your child sample the program before enrolling full time. Often children quit because they don’t know in advance what an activity is really like.

  • Stress progress, not perfection. Sometimes children quit because they think they have to be perfect right away.

  • Frequently praise small accomplishments and efforts, not just outcomes.

  • Look for ways to be supportive. When your child is bored practicing an instrument, for example, sit next to him and keep him company.

  • Avoid judgmental remarks like “You shouldn’t be a quitter.” Try to understand why your child wants to quit. Sometimes all children need is a sensitive ear and little encouragement.

  • Know when it is time to quit. Some gifted and creative children learn what they want to learn quickly, then need to move on.

Copyright © Parent Institute