Kate quit soccer.

Can I ask you some advice?

Of course, I can. This is the internet. Everyone has an opinion behind the safety of a keyboard.

Do you force your child to take extracurriculars? 

Are you an enforcer parent or let-your-kid-quit parent?

Are you the parent that doesn’t let your child tell you no? She told me she didn’t want to but I’m going to make her go to summer camp anyway. It’s a part of being a kid.

Or are you the parent that allows your child to make their own decisions? Fine, call your dad and tell him you quit soccer. It’s ringing. — Hello? — I quitted.

Kate quit soccer.

Me: Kate, get off my leg and go run on the field with your new friends. They’re yelling your name. Go, girlfriend! Go play soccer!

Kate: No. I hate soccer.

Me: You didn’t even try it. Go kick a ball back with that little girl. Isn’t she in your class?

Kate: It’s too cold.

Me: It will warm up when you run around.

Kate: I’m not as good as Emma.

Me: But your team is with girls your age. You don’t have to play like Emma.

Kate: I don’t want you to watch me.

Me: Ok, I’ll turn around and watch Emma on the playground. Go play!

I turned around and felt Kate release my leg. I checked to see where Emma was at on the playground and then turned back around to sneak a glance at Kate.

She was gone.

I scanned heads again. Kate was not with her teammates on the field.

Then a pink coat caught my eye. She was a soccer field away.

Me: KATE!!

Kate turned around.

Kate: I QUITTED!

Kate sprinted towards my car.

Me: EMMA, LET’S GO! HURRY! KATE! STOP! WAIT FOR ME!

We made a solid choice when we enrolled Emma in soccer. We put her in. She didn’t complain. And the child blossomed. Athletically, maybe a little bit. But it’s her confidence that blossomed. She’s changed. She’s happy. It might have to do with switching schools and milking the “new kid” status. Or it might be the sense of unity that comes with a sport like soccer. Whatever we did, we scored a goal with Emma. The stands went wild. Parenting high fives all around.

We took Kate back to the second practice.

Well, here come the boos.

A soccer ball was thrown at my head. I cried on the sidelines. Kate kicked the car tires in a meltdown. Scott threatened to drop kick Kate back on the field. And Emma stormed off to the parking lot and screamed, “SOCCER PLAYERS DON’T QUIT, KATE!”

Kate quit soccer again.

The enforcer parents told me to keep trying soccer with Kate. Or try dance. Or gymnastics. Kate has said no to everything. I’m not an expert parent but my gut is telling me the school switch, the move and enrolling her in soccer was too much change.

Do I know what’s good for her? Maybe.

Is she a kid just being a kid? Well, she’s Kate being Kate.

Fighting with her sister after school is a childhood requirement. She’ll never quit that.

We told Kate she could quit soccer. To me, I feel like we just scored another goal.

Do your kids do extracurricular activities? Do you make your child stay in after-school activities if they don’t want to? Have you let your child quit anything? Do you think parents put too much time into extracurricular activities? Tell me. It’s just you and your keyboard.

 

18 thoughts on “Kate quit soccer.

  1. wildcatlee says:

    This is such a great topic. I grew up in a environment where my parents would supports us both financially and emotionally in all sports but they never pushed us. I think our society has evolved into one in which parents live vicariously through their kids. I read a great article not too long ago that the premise was be the parent and let the coaches do their job. Just applaud them on their efforts but don’t fall into the criticism trap. Kids need your support not your opinion. Kids start out at 5 playing one recreational soccer game and the next they are practicing 4 days a week and you are grabbing dinner from McDonald’s on your way home so that you can rush and get them in to bed. I loved playing sports as a child but it was different then. We played all sports and they weren’t year round. I never had a chance to get burned out. I am a very competitive person but I just want them to want to compete. Athletes are athletes. Either you are or your not no matter what age you start. We put our 6yo in basketball for the first time this fall and it was great…..well good…..sometimes. She had the best coach ever which makes it easy. Too many times the coach ends up being a parent that is just doing it out of the kindness of their heart or they are ate up with over coaching. By the time she was done with the 3 month session she had made great advancements. The problem is many of the kids on her team went right into the next session. Really? Slow down. Most kids are so done with sports that by the time they get to the payoff pitch of college they don’t even want to play. I have a nephew who is going to play college basketball but he specifically said he was only doing it because he felt it was his obligation to his parents for a free education.

    It’s a tough call.

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    • Yes, I agree that some parents go from one sport to another with no breaks. I guess if my kid truly wanted to do those things, that’s ok. I would make it clear they don’t have to do everything. Like you said, athletes are athletes.
      I never played sports as a kid. But I love working out now so I encourage physical fitness whenever I can.
      Thanks for the awesome comment! 🙂 Good luck to your daughter in basketball!

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      • wildcatlee says:

        Thanks. I feel like I said a lot without saying much but wanted to let you know I always enjoy reading your blog. I am swimming in the estrogen ocean raising 3 girls ages 3,5,7. It’s fun. At this point I wouldn’t know what to do with a boy. Kate sounds like she may fall into the category of “strong willed child”. I have one of those and have found the harder I push the harder she pushes back. I can empathize because I was one too and I turned out great! Ok good but it does have its advantages. It often leads to type a personality. Yea!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Aw, thank you! I feel like I write without saying much in every blog post!! Same sex children are fun but whew…girls take the drama level to the extreme. I definitely see Kate being a CEO of a company when she’s older.

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  2. “I quitted”. Love that! It’s a tough one. We made the kids stick to their commitments and see it through and then if they didn’t want to go back to that sport that was ok because at least they tried it. I have a friend who let her kids quit everything and she regrets that. Kate is so young though. I think it’s okay if she doesn’t want to do it but maybe have a conversation about trying things and making commitments. It is also clear that she doesn’t want to be compared to her sister. A different activity she can call her own might work. You are a great mama! 🙂

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    • I wanted to correct her – No, it’s “I quit.” but I couldn’t.
      “I quitted.” (pout face).
      Good call on a different activity/sport than Emma. We are going to wait until she’s used to the new school/friends. The coach is sweet, he said we could bring Kate over for playdates with his daughter and their soccer friends so she can feel more comfortable. Kate is excited for that. 🙂

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  3. So timely. We took Arlo to join a running club tonight. We will not be returning. The not knowing anyone else coupled with the 100% French totally overwhelmed my firstborn. I am a low-pressure/non-pusher type. Certainly at this (their) age.

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    • We are always timely!! 🙂 Ooooo that would be hard in another country/another language. I honestly don’t think I would attempt it?? I think kids who just like to hang out with the family are some of the best kids. I was one!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. We have always asked our boys if they were interested in the different sports when the flyers came home from school. Our firstborn decided on basketball and we were always of the mindset that he follow through with his commitments. If we paid the money for him to play, then he was going to give it his best shot. We told him if he didn’t like it, then he had to finish the season since his team was counting on him, but he didn’t have to come back the next year. He loved it — and even his brother loved it. When the boys tried football however, one loved it and the other didn’t. Our youngest did not have a coach that worked with him at all — 90% of the practice was spent with him just standing in the field in the same spot. Thankfully, my oldest and a few of his friends took him aside and taught him everything he needed to know for his position to finish out the season. Needless to say, my youngest sticks with basketball while my oldest is now in the marching band.

    The hardest thing about being a parent is waiting for them to tell you what they are interested in. I just wait for the days when their faces light up and they chatter non-stop. 🙂

    Your girls are smart cookies and will tell you when they are interested in something. Good luck! Love your blog!

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    • Thank you for the response. Man, I am learning that there are no refunds if your kid doesn’t like it. We should have explained that to Kate. She is young though…she’ll figure out something once she adjusts to the moving changes. That makes me so sad your youngest just stood in the field!! 😦 Yay for older sib!!
      And thanks for reading this silly blog!! Good luck to your boys in bball and marching band!

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  5. jeanwordup says:

    Thanks for sharing this. I think extracurricular activities are good and great. My boy is 4 and a half now, and I would love to enrol him in tennis or soccer or music class even, but he’s just not ready yet. He’s a very sensitive little boy and strong willed too. Building his self confidence in small group play dates with his peers and even older boys is one of the things that I’m trying to do with him first. Having ‘official’ lessons/activities freak him out a little now. In this side of my world (Singapore), I know it’s a matter of time when the pressure will set in for all parents to have their kids ‘master’ in some kind of activity, but for now they just want to play freely with no expectations attached. 🙂 And I trust that when they think are ready, they will let us know. And even when they try to quit after some time, we shouldn’t quit on them. 🙂 It just might be something they will excel in, when given enough space and time. In any case, I think children are fickle minded at this age. 😉 All the best and have a great week ahead! You are doing a great job!

    Like

    • “Fickle minded” – I love that phrase! She’ll come around…I’m curious to know what her interests are. For now, I guess she still thinks hanging out with me is fun and I’m ok with that. She does do well in small play dates. And wow! Singapore! One of my (American) friends used to live there. Heard the schools are great!

      Liked by 1 person

      • jeanwordup says:

        Haha! Yes my 2nd boy is the master of fickle mindedness. 🙂 Schools are great but the competition and pressure is tremendous! We moved here not too long ago and thankfully the kids are still little so I don’t have to deal with it just yet. Will blog about it when the time comes. *fingers crossed* Have a lovely weekend!

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  6. We are all about the sports that keep our kiddos running non-stop. We had our six-year-old son quit t-ball because there was too much standing still and *not* chasing the ball. We switched to Basketball, and regardless of if our kiddo can dunk, he can at least run the length of the court 30 times during a game, ensuring that it was money well spent. So I guess we only enforce what will make my kids actually be able to sleep at night.

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  7. Such a big topic! With my two girls, they’ve really humbled me in this arena. When she was six, my older one wanted to quit ballet. I had just paid for the recital outfit and the next month of tuition literally a half hour before. As I was working on her after practice, the teacher heard us and gave me pause with her comment, “Let her quit. Otherwise, she will come to resent and hate dance. Let her lead.” So I was scared that maybe she’d never do anything! But she’s since played soccer (lol – just quit that after 2 seasons), done gymnastics, and then finally found her love: acting in community theater. Total relief. Good luck, Julie!

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      • Girl Scouts was my jam as a kid. I just dabbled in everything else. Yes, I did get a refund that day – but barely! They were like, “We don’t give refunds, sorry!” And I was like, “But I literally JUST PAID YOU thirty minutes ago.” I would’ve been very, very upset had they not refunded me.

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