Why I let my daughter quit her swimming lessons
The word ‘quit’ is generally seen as a negative word. I think the only time I’ve heard someone speak positive about quitting is when they’ve given up smoking. What does it actually mean? Well, in the dictionary ‘quit’ is described like this to depart from; to leave a place or person.
My daughters also think that ‘quit’ is a bad word but I’m not sure why…I can’t recall ever saying this to them or making them feel like quitting is wrong. Personally I think this assumption may have been taught at school. My younger daughter Tehya, used to tell me that her teacher said they are never allowed to quit and that she ‘doesn’t like quitters’. Whether this was her teachers actual words or whether this is how my daughter heard it, I can’t be sure, but I do know that children at school are made to feel guilty, bad or wrong for quitting something. They have to finish their work on time, they have to complete their homework and their parents must pay for their school trips on time, otherwise the child can look like a ‘quitter’ and be different to their classmates. Got to keep up with the classmates.
Now I don’t see how a child can be made to feel bad or guilty about trying something and eventually giving up the thing they tried as they are either not enjoying it, bored of it, don’t like doing it or all of the above. Being forced to do something you don’t enjoy is only going to teach a child that this is what life is all about, you must be miserable in life and do the things you aren’t happy doing. How about we teach our kids to feel positive about trying something and if they don’t like it they are free to move on to the next thing, and the next thing until they find something they do like, something which makes them feel good. Let them find themselves and find out what it is which makes them feel good and allow them to pursue it. So they don’t end up with a career as an adult which makes them sad and depressed and hating Monday mornings, just because ‘everybody else is doing it, it’s normal to carry on with something you don’t enjoy and if you quit, society will think less of you’. This is why I let my daughters quit their swimming lessons. They had been swimming for years and are good at it but now they are just bored of it and I don’t see that as a problem at all. They’re not interested in becoming olympic swimmers when they’re older. They can swim to safety if they fall in a lake and they can have fun in swimming pools without me being a nervous wreck when we go on holidays. When the time is right I’m sure they will find another hobby to fill their Tuesday evenings because they’re kids and they’re finding themselves. Heck, I’m almost 30 and I’m still trying to find myself, but I didn’t have the amount of freedom of choice growing up as my children do now.
So if your children want to quit their swimming lessons, what’s the big deal? Let them do what they love and be proud of them for being themselves.