But what if your child is involved in something that they absolutely despise? In our case, it’s been a battle for three and a half years. There is only five more months left and it dawns on me. I ask myself why? Why are we forcing this kid to do something that he doesn’t want to do when the single reason for continuing at this point is simply to continue?
Time is precious and in limited quantities. I think that there are situations where I should stand back and evaluate the allocation of this resource. Mine and our family’s.
As we talk about this particular situation with our friends it inevitably comes up that we shouldn’t encourage quitting. True. I’ll concede that point. But I think the bigger lesson is to identify when it’s time to stick it out and when it’s time to quit. I woke up this morning thinking about all the non-quitters in the world. Those people who have been in the same job because they won’t venture out to try something else. Those who fill their time with trivial hobbies simply to fill the time. But then there are those who endured in difficult situations and prevailed as a result. Hmmmm. Maybe one of the decisive indicators is outcome? What is at the end of the road and is it worth it. Yes. I think maybe that’s the key.
The Bible addresses this issue in Ecclesiastics 3:1 where it reads “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” Kenny Rogers’ lyrics to The Gambler says, “Know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em.” And fishermen have talked about cutting bait when they’re unsuccessful. Obviously, this is a common situation. And maybe one of the most important lessons to teach children.
So will we let our son quit with only five months remaining? I think it’ll depend on what he wants to do with that extra time. If he’ll use it to his advantage, than yes, probably so. If he uses the time to do nothing, then we may have made a mistake. Parenting is one of the most interesting things I’ve ever done. And as promised (or warned), you really never quit parenting your children. One of the benefits is that you grow as a person in the process.