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Force My Child to Stick to Commitments?

Should I make my kid stick with the sport or activity they committed to even if they hate it?


It’s a question many parents wrestle with.


After seeing the way that so many of these situations have played out I wanted to share my experience with you as well as some powerful insights from an author I follow...


Some parents cling to the belief that their children must learn to stick with commitments regardless of how unpleasant they may be. So they force their daughter to practice the piano for an hour everyday, though she long ago lost interest and now begs to play soccer with her friends instead. Of course, kids do need to understand commitment and the importance of finishing what they start, but it’s imperative that they also learn about themselves. Why force your child to do something she hates?


Author Richard Blackaby shares the story of his daughter- irade he and his wife enrolled her in ballet. After a couple of lessons she clearly hated it. A few months later she despised it even more. She probably joined just for the sparkly outfit ;-)


After leaving the dance studio in tears one afternoon, they did not force her to go back.


She went on to try piano, tap, and several other activities until she finally found figure skating.


She fell in love.


No more lectures about commitment and perseverance, even when she had 6:30 am practices. Figure skating resonated with her spirit; she had found herself.


Coach Andrew’s take on this:


1. If our kids resent us or the sport/activity that we made them stick with, it is more likely to cause them to rebel from the idea of commitment because they associate more pain with the experience of commitment than they do pleasure from it

2. Only you (and your child) can be the judge of what is reasonable and unreasonable here. With your spouse, decide in advance what the guidelines for stopping a commitment will be, and then bring your child into the conversation as well so you can all be on the same page.

3. Be the example of open, honest, vulnerable, transparent conversation to your kids. If they see this, they will be this- and then these situations become far more bearable.

4. I advise you not to downplay your child’s emotional response to not liking a sport- to them, it hurts. Ask questions, seek to understand, and don’t make any reactive decisions out of emotion!


Dedicated to your child’s joy and success,


Coach Andrew


Here are two ways to help your athlete get confident, gain clarity, and experience more success without falling into the pitfalls so many kids do nowadays:

1. Come to PFP if you are within driving distance. Our next 8 Week Program to help student-athletes get strong, fast, and confident starts 9/19. Book a free call and get your initial 1 on 1 Success Session on me by going to this link.


2. Book a Mindset Performance Coaching Call by going here and filling out the waitlist application-->Train the Mind, Gain the Edge

Andrew Simpson

Chief Vision Officer
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