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Is it Okay to Let a Child Quit?

The first time one of my children said they wanted to quit an activity that they'd begged to do, I had to think for awhile.

I have friends in both camps: 1) make 'em follow through till the end, and 2) let 'em quit if they're not happy. I've seen a child miserably attend lessons she detested for months and months beyond when she'd wanted to quit, and I've seen a parent let a child quit after two lessons, which I though was too soon.

My compromise philosophy: Let the child quit, so long as they've given the activity a "good try."

What's a good try? I give my children a specific response when they ask this question (which has come up only twice). I'll say, "After 5 lessons, you can quit," or something similar, depending on the activity and what I judge to be enough of a try. Actually, the second time a child wanted to quit, I asked her what she deemed to be enough time to render a decision, and she gave a great response, so that's what we did.

My daughters have accepted this idea with no quibbling. I think they understand that it's pretty fair.

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What I'm Reading

Atonement by Ian McEwan

The Impossible Will Take a Little While, edited by Paul Rogat Loeb

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K.Rowling (reading to my children)

Misquoting Jesus by Bart D. Ehrman

Understanding the Bible by John A. Buehrens

The Jefferson Bible: The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth by Thomas Jefferson