Parenting Expert Shares 2 Rules Parents Should Enforce Before Allowing Their Child To Quit A Sport (Or Any Other Activity)

While supporting children in facing challenges, parents should also encourage them to pursue activities they genuinely enjoy

sports team, children, parents / Shutterstock

Part of raising well-rounded kids is getting them involved in extracurricular activities. To find out what they like, parents often enroll kids in a variety of sports and clubs. This process involves a significant amount of trial and error, as children might realize they dislike an activity only after committing to it for a while.

However, before allowing kids to quit, parenting expert Kristin Mariella Fridjonsdottir, said moms and dads should consider several important factors.


One parenting expert revealed the 2 rules parents should enforce before allowing them to quit a sport or activity:

Kristin Mariella Fridjonsdottir, a parenting expert as well as a mother of three, shared her stances on when it is appropriate for parents to let their children quit sports on her Instagram account.

1. 'Make sure your child has done a trial and is confident in what they want to practice before committing.' 

Fridjonsdottir’s first rule ensures that your children still get the experience of at least trying a sport or activity before determining whether or not it is for them.

kids playing soccer FatCamera / Canva Pro


RELATED: Mom Says If She Texts A Family Member Her Children’s Sports Schedule It’s Their Responsibility To Show Up For All 4 Kids' Games

“Communicate to them clearly that by committing and paying for that semester/bunch of lessons etc., they are committing to go to every lesson/practice,” she wrote.

“If for some reason they don’t want to do it, they can choose not to participate but they still have to watch and attend.”

For instance, if your child is part of a soccer team and they express that it is not something they wish to continue, at least have them attend the games and watch their teammates for the rest of the season.

This way, they can still support their friends without having to participate, and it can either solidify their decision to quit or encourage them to continue. 


boy playing violin FamVeld / Shutterstock

Children change their minds daily, with their favorite color being red one day and blue the next. Before rushing to any final decisions like quitting a sports team or activity, give them some time to really think about their choice.

Fridjonsdottir explained that this rule teaches children about accountability.


“It gives us a way to follow through with a boundary around keeping our commitments without putting us in a situation where we’re forcing our kids to perform or participate if they really don’t want to (which will only create power struggles and no often more resistance in the long run),” she shared.

RELATED: Dad Who's 'Drowning In Debt' Wants To Cut Off His Daughter From Her $600 Monthly Gymnastics Program

2. 'Never quit on a bad day.'

We all have days where it seems as if nothing is working out in our favor, causing us to become discouraged and frustrated. However, just because we have one bad day does not necessarily mean that they will all be like that.

@makemoneywlinsey Never quit on a bad day. I remember that even on my best days at my 9-5 I was still wanting to quit. Which is why I decided to go for it. Bad days are normal but you need to push through them.#digitalmarketingforbeginners #digitalmarketingtips #digitalmarketingjourney #millionairemindset #quityour9to5 #onlineincome #beyourownboss #dontgiveupwhenthingsgettough ♬ original sound - Linsey | Digital Marketing

Olympic gold-medal gymnast Nastia Liukin preached the mantra “never quit on a bad day,” which all parents should instill in their children.


“If your child comes home from practice and says, ‘I hate soccer! I never score a goal, it’s just too hard! I don’t want to do this anymore,’ you tell them. ‘Okay, you can quit. But not today,’” Fridjonsdottir shared.

“Then explain: ‘We all have bad days when we want to quit. When something feels hard, our brain and body resist because they want us to be comfortable. But if we quit on a bad day, we might never be great at something we might regret later.’”

While there is nothing wrong with quitting something you don’t enjoy doing, Fridjonsdottir urged parents not to let their children give up something they clearly love just because they happen to have one day where they struggle.

“Yes, you CAN quit, but it’s important to make sure it’s what you really feel — that it’s your heart talking and not just your brain and body trying to protect you from feeling a bit uncomfortable,” she added. 


boy playing baseball Suzanne Tucker / Shutterstock

Fridjonsdottir said refusing to let your child quit 'normalizes struggle' and 'builds resistance,' which prepares them for the future.

“It also teaches good and authentic decision-making and gives our kids the option to quit or move on to something else if they truly want to,” she claimed.  “Which I believe is so important because while we DO want to support our kids in not ‘giving up’ when things get a bit challenging I also do not want to force my kids to keep doing things that they don’t enjoy.”

Your children will have days where they fall on their faces and encounter challenges while participating in sports and activities; it is important to let them see it through. You can't improve otherwise, and you can't learn resilience or determination.


Who knows? Your child may despise baseball no matter how good they are at it but love to paint and become the modern-day Picasso. Or, they may love baseball but have days where they strike out every time they are up at bat.

While it is a parent's job to encourage their children to stick it out on their hardest days, they must also be their biggest cheerleaders when it comes to pursuing the things that they thoroughly enjoy.

RELATED: Dad Finds It ‘Extremely Difficult’ To Connect With His Kids Because Of Their Sports — ‘Weekends Are No Longer For Worship Or Family’

Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.