Teaching Kids Commitment
- “I want to expose my child to as many experiences as possible.”
- “He is arguing with me not to go.”
- “She loves this activity but wants to try so many other things, there is no time to get everything done.”
If you were born before 1990, chances are you grew up in an age when there were not as many ‘activity’ choices as there are today. Did you turn out OK?
Ultimately, our desire to have our children try as many activities as possible in the quest to create a ‘well rounded’ individual, in fact, may be resulting in future adults who can’t commit.
What messages are we sending?
“I want to expose my child to as many experiences as possible.”
It is acceptable to go from job to job, school to school, activity to activity without mastering any in order to get as much out of life as possible. You did well at this job, but there are so many others out there to explore! Why settle? Quit and get another one, then another…
If you are starting activities with your child at a young age, you have plenty of time! If they are happy with what they are doing, it is OK to keep at it! At 4 years old, a child can commit to an activity for a FULL YEAR and still experience as many other activities as you may want them to try before they are 10. When it comes to whether it is their choice vs ours to stay or leave an activity; are they capable of discerning the difference, or are their ‘experiences’ more for ‘us’ instead of them? There are so many distractions for a child as it is, let’s not create an ADD mentality of activity.Is our children’s need to experience as many things as possible more for them or for us? Click To Tweet
“My child is arguing with me not to go.”
If you complain loud enough and long enough you will get your way. As a mother of three, I understand that no one enjoys a ‘standoff’ with a five year old; especially over an extracurricular activity. However, when was the last time you started a fitness program or diet and simply LOVED it 100% of the time? Are you thrilled to go to work each and every day or would you rather, on occasion, wish to roll over when that alarm goes off?
Your child may simply not like the thought of putting down their Legos, having to stop playing with their friends or turn off their favorite show to go somewhere. If that is the case; pre-plan. Have them stop what they are doing a half an hour before the scheduled activity to have a snack at the kitchen table. Children live in the moment; by removing the desired stimulus and creating time to ‘settle down’, they will be more likely to transition more readily. If that is not the case and your child truly does not like baseball, turn the gripe into a goal. Set a goal to finish the season, get to the next belt rank, swim an entire lap and turn a negative into a positive by praising them for succeeding! That way, they stop the activity on a high note and may eventually have the desire to return (if at that point, they even want to still stop).Turn a Child’s Gripe into a Goal Set up for Success. Click To Tweet
“She loves this activity but wants to try so many other things, there is no time to get everything done.”
If you load up your calendar with everything your child may want to do in the attempt to experience it all at once, you’ll end up feeling like a taxi driver until life becomes a blur of scheduled events that cause you to loathe one or all of them. Busy is not better. If you are exhausted by the end of the day or frustrated with all the ‘running around’ you are doing, is that the example you want to set for your child? In the attempt to create well rounded children, are we instead creating a world of future frazzled adults with zero quality time for themselves or their family?
Create a consistent calendar. Schedule your child’s day based upon priorities and responsibilities. Every morning, make sure they know they have to have their books, backpacks and lunch by the door; dressed with teeth brushed (after breakfast) before they take on anything else. The same when they return home from school and before bed. Children have to learn that daily responsibilities must come first and when they are fulfilled, there will be time for extra activities. If there is no time, then find out why. Is homework taking too long because the child is having issues? Are they not preparing their day because they lack organization skills? Sometimes all this ‘running around’ causes us to lose insight on the bigger picture.Busy is not always Better; it is Important for a Child to Learn what Quality Time Is. Click To Tweet
Ultimately, the goal is to recognize the statistics surrounding the ‘extracurricular’ choices made. For me, I believed that first, my children NEEDED to learn two things; how to swim and how to protect themselves if a stranger approached them. Swimming lessons and martial arts lessons will last a lifetime. They are progressive, which is ideal for goal setting and they will potentially save your child’s life. After that, I added activities to my children’s repertoire that were absolutely fulfilling, but in the end, unless they displayed the talent of a protégé in that area, I knew statistically their chances of getting drafted in the NFL, NBA, PGA, etc. were not worth the potential negatives.
Take the time to evaluate where your family is at regarding activities; if soccer is causing the ‘run around’, it is not worth sacrificing quality family time. Children who understand time management, commitment, consistency and responsibility are the ones who truly become well rounded adults.
Want to find out more about turning gripes into goals or finding an activity that teaches children a progressive way to succeed? Stop by our studio or contact me at 760-484-1435.
Breaking thru with you,