Parenting Coach

Practical ideas for social, emotional and behavioral challenges

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Build in exit strategies.

What you can do

Build in exit strategies when your child signs up for activities so he doesn’t feel like he’s making an endless commitment. Consider asking him to agree to a trial period of one month or longer. Make clear that after that trial period, you’ll all sit down and see how it’s going. If he still finds the activity frustrating or doesn’t like it at the end of the trial period, then you’ll give him an opportunity to do something else.

It's also a good idea to take advantage of the end of a sports season or batch of classes to help your child pause and assess whether he wants to keep participating.

What you can say

“Jacob, I found a place where we can rent a violin for you this fall. This way we can decide together toward the end of the rental period whether or not to sign up for more violin lessons. If you’re enjoying it and having fun, great! If you’d rather try something else in the spring, that’s OK too.”

Why this will help

Children often have difficulty telling whether an activity is a good fit for them. This can be even harder to do if the activity involves getting to spend time with a friend.

You can talk to your child and help him decide whether to keep doing an activity or choose another. If he wants to stick with the current one, use that desire to encourage him to practice at home and try other strategies that will help him be more successful at the activity.

302Found this helpful
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