How many times have you signed your child up for swimming, soccer, gymnastics, violin or piano lessons, camp—she even being begged for it—only to hear, “I don’t want to go”? It’s hard not to be furious—“But you said this is what you wanted”—especially when money is involved. Sometimes your child has been involved with the team or the lessons and says, “I want to quit.”
There’s no doubt that parents have hopes and expectations wrapped up in their child’s learning experiences. And what of the parent who never got the opportunity for anything extracurricular and is proud to be able to afford these opportunities for his child? Or the parent whose childhood was formed by her camp experiences, yet her child stubbornly refuses to go to camp?
Fears pop quickly to the surface: “She’s a quitter”, “He never can commit to anything”, “What will her boss do when she decides one morning she doesn’t want to go to work?” “He just gives up.” Those fears lead us to all kinds of bribery and manipulation to get our kids to do what we want, what we think is best, never realizing how powerful our own agendas are.