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Red Light, Green Light....1-2-3 Helping Your Child Achieve Balance And Making Sure He/She Doesn't Take On More Than He/She Can Handle

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

You were thrilled when your teen approached you enthused and excited about his/her latest venture. Now just a short while later, after you’ve invested time and money, your child has lost interest and your interested in doing the best, most loving thing.

Your primary concern is whether to give her the “freedom” to stop or encourage her to go forward. Perhaps your child is just (currently) lacking the necessary drive (to succeed) or maybe he/she really wants to put the brakes on his/her new hobby. Consider finding a mutually acceptable balance.

Find A Happy Medium: Refrain from “nagging” or trying to enforce your adamance about not “giving up”. Instead, sit down and discuss both your viewpoints and your reasons. Above remember not to “undermine” your child’s feelings, and to find out “why” he/she is reluctant about continuing. Are they simply “giving up” in the face of difficulty and adversity or are it is simply the wrong “match” for your child.

Re-evaluate YOUR Motives: While it’s imperative that you enforce the principle of determination and “stick-to-itiveness” you want it to be your child to be excited about what he/she is pursuing. Many parents tend to live vicariously through their offspring. Thus, experts suggest being honest with your child about the advantages of perseverance, but also acknowledge that it may be YOU who is interested in the sport or activity and just may not be your son or daughter’s cup of tea.

Reach a Harmonious Agreement: Have a heart to heart with your child and try to convince them to continue for a “little while longer”, then work together to determine an agreeable time frame. Live up to your end of the bargain by providing transportation and/or funds for continued participation in the activity and be gracious about allowing your child to terminate his/her involvement at the end of the specified period if they still want to.

Give Them A Break: Ask your child if a short hiatus from the sport or activity would be helpful. It’s always a possibility that your child is “overworked” and fatigued and simply needs to refresh their “passion” and their energy for the “project”.

Review Your Child’s Schedule: There may be a variety of variable affecting your child’s decision, including time or lack thereof. Perhaps this new activity is taking up more time than originally thought or demands time and energy your child just doesn’t feel they have or can expend. Validate your child’s concerns by showing support for the excess obligation and let him/her know that it’s perfectly ok to set boundaries and limits that may otherwise compromise ourselves.

Consult The Coach or Instructor: Ask your child’s teacher, coach or instructor about his/her participation, progress and potential. Additional encouragement from a coach, peer or mentor can make a substantial difference in influencing your child’s decision.

Review The Learning Curve: Discuss with your child the lessons learned through his/her recent experience. Regardless of his/her decision to continue or not, the experience may have been a good learning took for teaching your child about his/her interests, adhering to schedules, and setting schedules and limits.

Long Island Family Life & Parenting Articles > Red Light, Green Light....1-2-3 Helping Your Child Achieve Balance And Making Sure He/She Doesn't Take On More Than He/She Can Handle

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