17: What If My Kid Wants To Quit?

17: What If My Kid Wants To Quit?

What’s The Episode About:

In this episode, Paul and Stacey will answer a question about what to do when one’s kid wants to quit something.

So many parents have struggled with this because no parent wants to raise a quitter, but whatever it is cannot be forced on them from a demand relationship approach. The good news is, there is a better approach that doesn’t involve forcing your kids into something that they truly don’t want to do. 

Tune in as Paul and Stacey share the relationship development tactics you can use to tackle this issue with your kid and make sure that they’re A-okay moving forward. 

Key Points Discussed: 

  • It comes down to instilling values in our kids (02:46)
  • Looking at your trigger first (05:56)
  • Demand parenting brings up a conformer or a rebel (08:53)
  • Losing out is just as good a teacher (10:41)
  • Do not side with an authority figure over your kid’s life (14:47)
  • Supporting your kids to have their own life experiences (17:44)

Where Can I Learn More:

Have you signed up for The D.I.R.T. ?! http://bit.ly/2KlobXZ

When Did It Air:

August 15, 2019

Episode Transcript:

Disclaimer:  The Transcript Is Auto-Generated And May Contain Spelling And Grammar Errors


Paul:               00:00 Hey Relationship Transformers, welcome to the Relationship Transformer podcast. So, continuing with our theme from the last podcast episode, Stacey and I have been doing a lot of talking over all these podcasts and all these weeks, right? So today again, we’re going to answer some of your questions. Today’s question is what to do when your kid wants to quit X?. This happens to every parent and today we’re going to go there. Some people will not like the answers of what we’re going to share here today, and everyone needs these solutions. So let’s cue up the intro and dive in.


Intro:              00:37 So the big question is this; How is it possible that one person alone can transform any relationship, save their marriage, create their unshakeable love, and unleash passion, divorce-proof their family, without needing their partner to get on board and do this with them, and yet still get to be happily, authentically you without compromise. That is the question and this podcast will give you the answer.


Stacey:             01:06 Alright. At one of our live events, someone asks this question, I thought it was so perfect. So many of us have struggled with this at times. I thought we could answer it here too. She stood up and said this. She said, “Our daughter does swim. She’s been doing it for three years. And in the last few months, she’s been complaining that it’s not what she wants to do anymore. Every practice is a struggle now, and we’ve been making her go. She’s on a team and they’re counting on her, and I told her to talk to the coach and see what he says. He told her that she can’t quit, that she made a commitment, and she has to stay on the team for the season. She’s coming to me now and telling me that she doesn’t want to swim anymore. My husband agrees with the coach. She can’t just quit. I don’t want to teach her that. It’s okay to be a quitter, but I don’t know how to support her. When she says she doesn’t want to go swimming either, it feels like demand parenting to make her do something. Do we just tell her the chance to finish this season, and then if she doesn’t want to do it next year, that’s her choice. Do we just let her quit? I need help.” All right, so let’s start this here.


Paul:               02:07 You know, I just want to pop in on one thing about this too. This so reminds me of like, I love to pre-frame it with something that’s not related to this topic because people get so charged about it. And one of the things that come to mind is, imagine that you’re working for someone, you know, you’re… you’ve got a job, you’re showing up, and the boss is like, “Oh, you can’t quit.” As an adult, what are you going to say? I’m quitting. I actually am quitting, and I’m sorry that’s interruptive to your business, but this is where I get off. And, I get it. And, there’s some obligations and things that are involved, and you can be really cool about it, and you should be about transitioning if you really are going to quit. But the end of the day it was your decision as the employee to say, I’m done.


Stacey:             02:46 So let’s talk about this because I know this does get charged, and we don’t want to raise quitters, and all of that stuff and people are, you know, relying on them. Here’s the thing, again it comes down to we want to instill values in our kids. We want to lead them so that they navigate life, knowing how to stay with something, knowing how to, you know, do the hard thing to get a big victory, knowing how to really get outside their comfort zone, and stretch themselves and… and achieve goals. Like we all want to help lead and instill, and now it comes down to, how? How do we do that? Well, the demand parenting approach is to force them to go to a practice they don’t want to go to, or stay and swam when they don’t want to swim, or whatever that may be.


Stacey:             03:35 But there is a relationship development approach. Here’s the thing, the first part of it is, are you leading this way? Are you living as somebody who doesn’t give up, doesn’t quit? Are you demonstrating what it takes to stretch yourself and get uncomfortable and have resilience even when it’s hard and debt that huge victory and celebrate it so that your kids see what that looks like. Are you living that way or does your life never change week after week, month after month? It’s the same w you know, circular wheel. There are no huge achievements. There are no big stretches because if that’s what you’re modeling, then they’re not actually seeing that other than like watching sports on TV of other people, other people’s lives, not real life. So are you modeling it, number one and number two, it’s about how will you help instill those values?


Stacey:             04:32 See when we demand or insist that our kid can’t quit, all that kid is learning is I have no choices. I don’t have freedom here. My Dad said I have to stay in it. My coach said I have to stay in it and my mom’s not standing up for me, so I guess she’s with them so I don’t have any choices. I have to do what someone else said I have to do. You gotta be so careful with that. Oh my gosh, you gotta be so careful with that. We’ll talk about that in a minute. So here’s the thing. What is the relationship development parenting approach? Your kid comes to you and says she doesn’t want to do swim anymore. First of all, when I asked this mom, I said like, okay, so tell me about your husband’s perspective that he agrees she can’t just quit.


Stacey:             05:15 What did he say? Why? Why does he feel that way? She said he went into the whole like, I’m not going to raise a quitter, and she made a commitment to her team and there’s no integrity in that. Here’s the thing, she’s already proven. She’s not a quitter. For three years, she got up for swim for three years. She missed out on other fun kids stuff to go to swim practice for three years. She got in the pool and did her lapse. Even when she sprained her shoulder and her feet hurt and all the other things, or it was too cold or it was too hot or whatever. She did it. She showed up. She, she swam on a team. She went through the matches. She went to the meet, she did it. She knows how to be part of a team. She got herself uncomfortable.


Stacey:             05:56 She already proved that she can do it. She just doesn’t like swim anymore. After three years, she’s like, you know what? I don’t really feel it anymore. It’s this isn’t, it’s not who I am anymore. It was, but it’s not now. So you have to look at your own triggers, just like we said in the last podcast. What are your triggers about this? Solve them? Well, my trigger is I don’t want to raise a quitter. Right? Are you like, she’s already proven herself that she knows how to do this. And I’ll get to the kid who hasn’t in a second, but just look at your triggers and really look at like, does it apply here? And she already proved that she knows what it means to be on a team. And so if the relationship development approaches with, if the kid comes to me, it’s like, okay, I hear you.


Stacey:             06:41 Wow, that’s like a big deal. You’ve been swimming for three years. Do you want to talk about like what are you thinking about? Tell me like you don’t feel it anymore. It’s not for you. Like what is this about? First of all, just ask. Just be willing to open the dialogue. Even just asking, what is this about? You may hear anything from, I just don’t feel it anymore. I used to love it, but I don’t want to, I hate this bitch on my team. She’s making my life miserable too. You know what? I’m missing out on some real friendship time with girls that are in my class that are doing stuff when I can’t do that cause I’m at swim and I feel like they all have best friends that I never really got that. Or you know what they’re gonna say like first be willing to listen, not listen.


Stacey:             07:26 Like all right, fine young lady. Tell me what this is about. Know, like really be there, build the rapport, open the dialogue. Like you can start by aligning with them like wow, this a big deal. You’ve been swimming for three years. What’s going on? Tell me about it. And if you have rapport with your kid, Bill, tell you about it. If you don’t you don’t. But if you do, you’ll hear about it and then help them navigate it. All right, well that’s a big decision just so we, you know, are sure to talk it out. If you think about like if you quit now I’m just curious, thinking about your teammates, your coach, whatever else you have going on like three weeks out from this decision, do you think there’s going to be any like negative consequences you’re going to have to navigate any backlash from the team missing out on something you have your heart set on?


Stacey:             08:14 Like is there anything that you know you need to be prepared for? Cause I’m here to help you. I’m here to serve you. If there’s something you need to be prepared for, like let’s talk it through and really help her forward pace herself. Are Her teammates going to give her crap for this and do you need to help her be able to navigate that? By the way, if she says, oh my gosh, my teammates are going to freak, your answer is not, well then you need to do it. You should please them. Don’t freak people out like then your answer is yeah, it sounds like they might. What do you think you’re going to do? Do you need help with that? Can I help you navigate that? Because the key is with demand parenting versus relationship development. Parenting. If you demand stuff, you’re either raising a conformer or a rebel.


Stacey:             08:59 The conformer will please other people including authority figures, whether you’re there or not. The rebel is just conning you and can’t wait to get out of your sight. Neither of those as who you really wanted your kid to be. But when you run from relationship development, parenting, you’re really cultivating someone who has internal skills, who possesses the skills to navigate life to get great results. And if she wants to quit and she quits and there’s negative consequences to that, be there to help her learn how to navigate those negative consequences. We see this to our students all the time in relationship. You better. They learn how to navigate the crap of life while they’re in your house, while you have visibility to help teach them how to navigate it, then control and demand their entire lives all the way through until they leave your house and now without you being there.


Stacey:             09:54 They have to try to figure this shit out for themselves. Let them fall on their face while they’re in your house. Let them make their mistakes while they’re in your house and be there for them to help navigate their crap. So I’ll give you the alternative. The alternative as a case, like I would say with our son, when he was little, he wanted to start soccer two times he went, he wanted to quit, he started karate couple times he went, then he wanted to quit, like he did all these different things and then he quit. And then later in life he had a buddy, a friend of his who got his black belt in karate and he was like, damn, I like, that looks so cool. He looked so powerful. I wish I had stayed in karate. Then I would have that black belt. Now life is becoming his teacher, not me.


Stacey:             10:41 Like, hey, that does suck. You know? It does. It takes a lot of dedication and work to get that and you could do that too. It’s just a matter of where you’re putting your focus, but the key is we’re always modeling for him what it takes to stay in. I’m not forcing him to stay in. I think life is just as great a teacher when they lose, when they miss out on all of it. Life is just a great teacher because they lose out. If they quit, they lose out and that’s just as good a teacher is staying in and learning the benefits of not giving up when it becomes uncomfortable. Because the truth is when our kid became a teenager and found something he loved, which was guitar, he had no problem dedicating 10 hours a day to learning how to play guitar. He stays up until his fingers are hurting. He goes to the ends of his widths to try to learn really complicated songs because he’s so passionate about it. He will not give up. He does it again and again and again. He so he stays in it. He will not quit because it’s within him. It’s his passion. It’s inside of him and we’ve been modeling it all along. We talked to him about it all along. It’s different when you demand parent and you make them do something, you’re not really instilling that ability or that value to keep it going.


Paul:               12:00 Yup. And for us, you know, I think you’ve said it, but I want to just spell it out a little bit more clearly for everybody too is we model it again, our standard is higher in a sense that we don’t model quitting here. In fact, our children see all the time, the incredible challenges that we go through at times and yet we stay on it and we explain as we’re going through it. Like, no, we’re not stopping here because if we do, we’ll never get the reward that we’re looking for. Like whatever it is that that outcome was there, part of our journey. And they see that, wow, even when it’s really difficult, they don’t quit. We model that for them and that becomes something they automatically want to aspire to be. We’re not forcing it upon them. It’s instilling it upon them as like this is our standard. And that becomes their inherent standard. Cause it’s like I’m part of this family.


Stacey:             12:44 And they get to see the results. Everybody lives in the results of the decisions that they make. They see the results of the decisions that Paul and I make. And they see the results of their decisions. What results are you modeling for your kids? So the man parenting approach, again doesn’t teach them not to quit. It teaches them how to navigate you. And in this case, if that child was forced to stay in swim, all it taught her was nobody’s on my side. Like I don’t have a choice here. I don’t have freedom.


Paul:               13:14 People are free to tell me what to do and I’m just going to have to suck it up.


Stacey:             13:17 Oh God, it makes my skin crawl. I’m a relationship development and parenting approach. Let the world be their lesson teacher. Allow your kids to live in the results of the decisions that they make. Let them fall on their face. Let them quit the swim team and let their friends freak the fuck out on them and then let them form their own feelings about what it means when you quit. Well, that’s fine. Like they have their own feelings of like what it means if I do this or I do that now they’re, they have a feeling like, shoot, I quit and my friends on the swim team freaked out on me. They’re not talking to me now. Perfect. How do you feel about that? What are you learning from that? They’re getting a takeaway from that either, hey, I need to learn how to have a conversation with them or like how, you know, I didn’t realize this was really gonna let them down so much and I love them.


Stacey:             14:07 They’ve been there for me and I want to be there for them. I’ll stay in for a couple more months, make sure they get through that big championship because when it was tough for me, they were there for me and that’s who I want to be, whatever it is for them, but it has to be authentic for them. See, when life is their teacher, when life is your teacher, you form your own feelings about who you want to be and the results you want to get. When you demand parent, you rob your children of having that experience. All they know is what you want. And the last thing I want to say, because I would be remiss if I did not go there, you gotta be super careful. So I’m just gonna warn you. I’m getting on my soapbox now because protecting children is huge in my art.


Stacey:             14:47 You gotta be so careful about authority figures in your kid’s lives. Be So careful when you take a side with an authority figure over your child. Oh my God. Telling your kid, go asked your coach what you should do that is literally telling that child, okay, that coach, that’s not your parent. Yeah, they have more say over what you do with your life than you do. Well, be so careful because there are authority figures out there that are interacting with your children that do not have your children’s best interests at heart. And if you’re teaching your children how to please authority figures, one day your child is going to end up in a situation with an authority figure that’s not looking out for their best interest and they won’t know how to stand up for themselves. They will have a false belief in their head that that authority figure has the power to tell me what I can and cannot do, has the power to tell me I can or cannot quit swim.


Stacey:             15:50 So what else does he have the power to tell me to do? You’ve got to be so careful. Never ever side with an authority figure over your child. Always teach your child that no matter what, I don’t care what you do, I don’t care how bad it is. I don’t care what rule you break. I don’t care what your break, I’m on your side through life thick and thin. I got your back. We’ll navigate this together. Whatever it is, you know, I’ll be there because you want your child to call you when they run into that life moment and you have to create that with them. You’ve got to be so careful about what you teach your children about authority figures in their lives. What do you want to say about that, babe?


Paul:               16:34 I think you said it well. I don’t know that I need to add to that. It really is a case where, again, we need to start seeing our children as people not as children and the people that you want them to be when they grow up in a world that’s a difficult place. You know, having a child who’s either been wrapped in a bubble wrapper so that nothing can possibly get to them and that you’ve been blocking all this time until they’re out of your site or they go off to college, that’s not a solution. Neither is things like this delegating to others, you know, authority figures or anyone else where they feel like people can continue to tell them what to do. Your children need to be able to navigate life on their own without your guidance, uh, when the time comes and it’s only going to happen if you help them become the people they need to become while they’re growing up and you’re there to help them because the day will come where they will be out of your control or your a site. And if you’re not there and you haven’t helped instill these values and strengths within them, then yes, life is going to take them on a path that they don’t want to be or they just don’t know how to get navigate because they’ve run to what? The end of their own skillset.


Stacey:             17:40 Amen. Amen. All right, so Paul, give us some action steps. What can they start doing now?


Paul:               17:44 Okay. First thing you can do right now is just reflect, right? Same kind of thing. Let’s get visibility. First one, reflect, are you supporting your kids to have their own life experiences or are your kids going to do some things that are really your choices for them and not really their choice? What needs do you have around what your kid does or does not do? Are you concerned about what someone else will think?


Stacey:             18:10 Reflect on your answers to all three of these. These are critical and what’s the second thing?


Paul:               18:16 So the second thing is action. So start by solving your own triggers. Meet your own needs. Don’t put your concerns over what other people will think over the wellbeing of your own child. Develop a skill set for yourself to trust yourself to navigate every situation.


Stacey:             18:35 Amen. I love it. So important, so important. If you’ve been loving this podcast and I just feel like I can feel the energy of parents everywhere, like just want these answers. I hope you’ve been loving it and make sure to comment and review on the podcast and take a screenshot of the podcast. Start sharing it so that the families that need it could get it into their hands. Until next time, remember together we are changing the way relationship is done.


Speaker 2:          19:06 Hey, would you like to get big results in your relationships in just 10 seconds a day? If so, then subscribe to our daily inspiration for relationship transformers or The Dirt at MartinoPodcast.com/Dirt.

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