Parenting Expert On What To Do If Your Child Wants To Quit An After-School Activity - Exclusive

Parenting expert, mom and CEO of Parenting Evolution Cathy Domoney knows a thing or two about kids wanting to quit an extracurricular activity. After all, she's been there with her own brood and learned that the decision to stick with something or move on can be highly individual. So how do you know what to do if your child commits to an after-school club or team and then comes to you wanting to basically never go back to the activity they just had to try perhaps only a few weeks or months ago? As Domoney told The List, the answer "is very dependent on the individual circumstances."

To get to the heart of the matter, she shared a personal anecdote about her daughter and swimming. "The teacher was a bully," Domoney told us, adding that after moving up to a new level, she witnessed her daughter's confidence plummeting, while her anxiety increased dramatically. When her daughter asked to quit, the mom of many admitted, "My initial reaction was to make her see it through, but the toll on her emotional and mental wellbeing was too great so we pulled her out of lessons."

But Domoney draws a distinction between a child's personal choice to stop participating in an activity that only affects them, and a decision that might impact others who are relying on them.

It's healthy for kids to try new activities — and maybe quit, too

In her own family, parenting expert Cathy Domoney says about activities of a team nature, "I made it clear right from the start that this type of commitment had to be honored. I recommend this approach to other parents, too." Why? As Domoney explains, "I think it is important to teach young people about integrity and honoring others. Some serious and unusual circumstances would need to pop up for me to feel comfortable letting my kids break this type of commitment."

She also notes that it's important for parents to remember that kids are, well, just kids. "They will want to explore different possibilities as they discover who they are and how they fit into this world of ours." As parents, we should encourage our kids' self exploration through participation in various activities, and praise them if they try an activity and ultimately decided it's not right for them. "This type of experimentation helps to build character and gives them permission to take healthy risks and push themselves outside of their comfort zones," Domoney says.

In the end, when deciding if your child should be allowed to quit an activity, Domoney notes it's a person decision, without a "one-size-fits-all" answer. When in doubt, follow your intuition!