There was an interesting article in the WSJ Sunday edition back in September by Laura Kreutzer, “Am I Raising a Quitter?” where she wrote about her 8 year old’s desire to quit dance lessons because it was getting “too hard” ...and her parental decision to allow her to quit, albeit with some reservations. Ms. Kreutzer wrote a follow-up in November, presenting reader feedback, ranging from pushing the child to continue...to allowing the child to quit.
As a parent, what have you done or would have done in this situation, and are you worried about how your child will handle challenges throughout their life?
In these types of situations there are usually more questions; “Why did the child take dance lessons and who drove the decision; the child or the parents?” My guess is the parent though that is not disclosed. Parents do what they think is best for their child and expose their children to different activities to find the ones they like, be it music, dance, sports, or martial arts.
IMHO...it is the parent’s duty to teach their children to develop and respect their own belief systems and be willing to take full responsibility for their actions and decisions. And for me, the focal point is responsibility.
In my book, It’s Not About the Belt, I devote a chapter to responsibility, “Who’s in the Driver’s Seat?” The chapter opens with a story about one of my students who shows up for class without his uniform and subsequently blames his mom for not packing it for him. I love teachable moments and this was a great one to teach about the importance of taking responsibility for one’s actions...good or bad.
As a parent we are responsible for allowing our children to learn how to drive a car and get their license. Ultimately it is our child’s responsibility to drive safely...or not. Our children need to know that they are in the driver’s seat and they have complete control over how the car is driven. And they are accountable and responsible for driving successfully and safely.
Likewise every decision our children make in life, they need to take responsibility for their actions. They decide if they will be quitters or winners. They decide if they will be average, good, or exceptional.
As a Black Belt, I am in control of my thoughts, actions, and ultimately my own successes and failures.
I choose to win. I strive to be exceptional. I welcome you to join me on my journey...living a Black Belt life.
Thank you for this opportunity to serve you.
Master Chris Berlow, 6th Dan
Professional Martial Artist, Owner, and Author