Back in the day when youth sports were played on a nearby sandlot and didn’t involve adults, it was pretty easy for a youngster to walk away. You just walked away.
It gets a little trickier these days, thanks to organized sports and their dominance by parents and adults.
Quitting is a stain on the family now and when a kid doesn’t want to play a sport anymore, people go to DEFCON 1.
The St. Cloud Times considers this question and notes that it’s grounds for punishment in some families.
Some parents may want consequences for a child chooses to quit, to show respect for other people’s time — parents, teammates and coaches — and respect for the cost of activities.
For example, a parent may ask the child to tell the coach and the team themselves that they are quitting. Or a parent may want a child to agree to finish out the season.
Having the child pay a portion for the fees or equipment is another option. That could occur before joining an activity, to reinforce the activity’s value. Or, it could come after if a child quits, as a consequence or result of their choices.
If as a parent these ideas matter to you, you should discuss them before an activity begins so a child is aware of them, Arthur said. If that doesn’t happen, the discussion should stay calm and respectful.
The conditions can also be presented as options, rather than a consequence or punishment.
It’s just sports, people.
Related: Little League baseball: Youth sports’ lessons are lasting (MinnPost)
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