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"I Quit"

Andrea Ramsay Speers - Tuesday, October 08, 2013

If your teen has been involved in a sport or music lessons or similar activity regularly over the past number of years, you might find that as he gets further into his teen years, he doesn’t want to go anymore. 

Having a passion -- something that inspires them and keeps them focused -- is a great thing for teens.  It helps to keep them from falling into the kind of trouble that kids get into when they're bored, as well as being a built in excuse for avoiding trouble they don't want to be in ("I'd really like to stay and party, but I have football tomorrow...").  So whatever activity your teen is passionate about, it has way more benefits than just the physical/mental/artistic benefits that come from the activity itself.

Try to figure out why your teen wants to quit.  Is he burned out?  Has he been devoted to art classes since he was a tyke and now just wants a break, or to try something new?  Does he have too many things going on and is feeling too much pressure? 

Sometimes kids at this age don't want to participate in activities because they don't have friends with them.  So perhaps swimming lessons are a no-go because they involve your teen being alone with her teacher, but joining an team with a pal would be perfect.

As with anyone, sometimes kids' interests change over time.  While your son might have been pumped about hockey when he was seven, now that he's older, he's more interested in soccer.  Or perhaps he'd prefer a less structured activity, like hiking or playing a casual game of hockey or soccer with friends. 

Sometimes, all we need is a break to realize how much we miss our passion.  But it's not a great idea to try to force kids at this age to stick with something if they really have their minds set against it.  By talking with them perhaps you can figure out what the root of the problem is, and then decide together how to go from there.

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Andrea Ramsay Speers • Psychotherapist & Parent Coach • Oakville Family Institute • 175 Glenashton Dr., Oakville ON • Tel.: 905-491-6949

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