Does your child want to drop sports or another activity? Sarah shares advice on why it’s ok to let them quit.
I remember when I found out I was having a baby girl. I was overjoyed and pretty soon thereafter my mind turned to visions of her gliding across the ice one day in the future, as a gracefully and powerful figure skater.
Like so many Canadian girls, I grew up skating competitively, but quit at 16, once I tired of early morning practices. I started skating at 7, fairly late for anyone involved in competitions. I learned from that and vowed to get my daughter on the ice at an early age to give her an added advantage. I thought that with a few extra years, and her mom’s help from the boards, she’d be leaps ahead of other kids and loving every minute.
And that was kind of true for a while. She liked being on the ice and got interested in synchronized skating, which was my passion on the ice. But as the commitment increased to 3 times a week or more, her patience waned. She loved competitions and landing her jumps, but didn’t love the hard work and countless hours throwing yourself into the air only to fall on your butt.
I worried she was someone who walked away from hard work and only wanted things that came easily. We talked, and talked, we got extra lessons and even left school early for additional practice time. All of this she wanted to do but I also knew there was a part of her that was doing it for me. Or to prove something to me. I thought once she felt the wave of personal success she’d be hooked, having jumped several levels on her competition score…and she was for a few weeks.
But then she started mentioning other passions and a desire to try new things. She’s always had a beautiful voice but over the summer break she discovered music for herself. She’s become obsessed with the Beatles and learning about musical styles and singing. We’d talked about singing lessons in the past but I suggested they could wait, while skating isn’t something you can just take up as a teenager.
But her interest in music has continued to grow and when asked about the upcoming skating season, she decided she was done. Inside my heart broke a little. Skating was our thing. Something we both did. And in a way it felt like I was losing a part of my girl.
But as hard as it was, I was supportive. My only ask was that she took a few weeks to really think about it, because returning will be tough if she later changes her mind. Friends will likely have moved up levels and after dedicated 6 years to skating, I want her to be sure she’s ready to quit.
So I asked again, and she’s done.
It finally clicked. Singing is her passion. With no influence from me, this is what she wants to pursue. And it was time to let go and for me to let her follow her own path.
If you’re like me and your struggling with this transition, my advice is support them no matter what. Be there for them and teach them to chase their dreams. You got this, mom!