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When Your Child Wants to Quit: How to support them AND help them achieve their best

It can be tricky to know what to do when a child wants to quit.

They didn’t stick with piano, soccer only lasted a few seasons, and interest waned before the spring dance recital. For some children, it doesn’t take much before they ask to throw in the towel. As parents, you want to support them in their decisions and their passions, but you also want to push them to achieve their best.

Psychologist Dr. Todd Corelli says there’s a way to do both.

For more from Todd, listen to his podcast, “Dr. Todd Talks” on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.


What to Do When a Child Wants to Quit

“What better gift could we give our kids than the ability to stick with things and do hard things to persevere?” – Dr. Todd Corelli

The Gift of High Expectations

Contrary to popular belief, Todd argues that having high expectations for children is a gift.

Backed by research, he states, “If we have high expectations, high demands, we require our kids to have appropriate behaviors, to work hard, to stick with things, to do things, those are the kids that have the best outcomes.”

Social Media and the Perception of Effort

Todd delves into the influence of social media in shaping our views on effort and success.

He notes, “One of the reasons I hate social media is because it doesn’t matter what position you take, everybody’s going to praise you.” This observation underlines the importance of distinguishing real achievements from online applause.

Balancing High Expectations with Individual Passions

A common concern for parents is how to balance high expectations with acknowledging and nurturing their child’s unique interests.

Todd emphasizes the significance of the parent-child relationship, stating, “When we have high expectations and a warm, connected, strong bond and relationship, those are the kids that do the best.” This underlines the balance required between setting high standards and fostering a supportive, connected environment.

Involvement and Acknowledgment

Todd says to acknowledge the difficulty of your children’s tasks and be involved in understanding the “why” behind a child’s pursuits. Todd stresses the importance of understanding and catering to each child’s unique characteristics.

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