Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Quitters Never Become Winners

I remember when Nikki was in the third grade and Art Masters came to her school. Her class would learn about a famous artist and then learn a technique that the artist would use in their craft... Nikki's teacher would send me a note almost each month during Art Masters and it would read something like this: "I wanted to let you know that Nikki was having a difficult time today during Art Masters. She became very unhappy with her project and tore it up and wanted to try I told Nikki everyone only gets one try... can you please tell Nikki not to be so hard on herself.. I try... but she does not listen to me. Thank you, Mrs. Brown"
Well Nikki is still the kid who expects to be perfect without years of practice.. She is very impatient. I can't count how many times - I hear her up in room growling in frustration. Something she was doing was not meeting her high expectations of herself.. I have learned to ignore it.... additional drama that I so don't need...
She has tried gymnastics, kickboxing, swimming and tennis... She gave up on gymnastics because her younger sister turned out to be a natural and proceeded to a high level very quickly.. so Nikki turned to kickboxing (she assured me this is what she wanted) I told her she had to give it at least a year - Three hundred and sixty five days later - she quit.. why? Because it was hard and she was "out of shape"... So she tried swimming- convinced that because she loves swimming in our pool that the swim team would be a perfect fit.. WRONG - after three months - she cried to get off the team - it was too hard.... then Nikki was convinced that she was the next world's best tennis player... so again - we gave her the chance... After she played for about a year - her little sister joined... Gymnastic practices exceeding twenty hours a week took its toll on Kara (my youngest) and our family... that will be a different story.. any hoo.. tennis has brought them together and they have enjoyed it for three years..... until..... today..
Today, Nikki came up to me and said she wanted to quit tennis.... Why I asked.... "It's too hard and I'm not any good!" (she's in the highest level for her age - she is good and she loves it) Knowing my kid as well as I do.... I said" No..." "WWWWWWWWWWWHHHHHYYYYY?" she whined. I told her that she has to stop giving up on things because she may have had a bad day. It takes practice and commitment to be good at things and then I used the phrase we have all heard at some point in our lives..."Quitters Never Become Winners and Winners Never Quit" and Nikki you will be a winner and you will be good... better than good.. I am not going to let you quit...
As parents we need to know when it is the right time to allow our kids to quit something and when not too. Staying involved in our children's lives gives us the knowledge to know what is best for them....I know Nikki will be happy I did not let her quit... because I know she loves it..**note - Nikki just came into my office and said she really does love tennis and will practice her strokes in the mirror like her coach suggested.... Let's see what tomorrow brings... shall we..?


  1. Good for you for knowing her well enough to keep her doing this. I remember going through this myself with piano lessons. I'm glad now that my Mom didn't let me quit right away.

  2. High Five, Mama!

    p.s. did you receive my email regarding permission to use one of your blog posts in the MW E-newsletter?

  3. This was a really good post and something that I can already see being a problem for my oldest. She gets nervous and wants to quit or thinks she isn't good and wants to quit. She is only 5 so I know we have many more years of this



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