Just this week I have talked to at least six students who wanted to quit. The reasons vary from time to just feeling like they are not improving at the rate they think they should. I wanted to take just a minute to share my thoughts on quitting. Let me start by telling you something personal. I don’t read books from people who have no experience. For example I will not read a parenting book from someone who doesn’t have adult children. If the writer is a grandparent I will read every word. The more experience the better. I tell you that so you will know what what I am telling you is not opinion, but a tested truth. My children are currently 19, 18, and 16. I have been married for 21 years. I have a masters degree from college. I hold black belts in three different styles of martial arts. I am a first degree Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt. I do not have a quit bone in my body. In fact one of the hardest things for me to do is to even rest. The idea of never quitting is something that I have passed on to my children. When it comes to school and self-defense I didn’t give them an option of starting, and my parenting rule is that once you start, you will finish. Sports like baseball, football, volleyball were always optional, but education and self-defense training are required. This parenting style has worked well. I have two in college and one graduating high-school this year. They have all tried different sports but Jiu-Jitsu has always been there. Knowing that my girls can defend themselves against a grown man brings me a lot of peace. I still worry about a lot with them, but self-defense is not one of those things.
Let me tell you why quitting is bad. First, quitting becomes a lifestyle. Kids who are allowed to quit will begin to find reasons to quit things that are hard. This will translate over to every area of their lives. In school when a class is too hard they will shut down. Sadly I see a lot of parents supporting their kids instead of challenging them to step up. I ask my kids directly if they want to be a parent one day. After they say yes I remind them how hard parenting is. Then I ask, “When you are a parent and you are tired and the baby will not stop crying, will you quit?” We all face these issues. When work is hard, but you know you have to bring home a pay check what will you do? Is quitting an option? I believe this is why our divorce rate is so high. People just decide to quit. I have worked with hundreds of families over the years. Some were tragic as they would bring their almost adult kids to me asking what could be done. Most of the time it was too late. They have already seen mom and dad quit. They have already been allowed to quit everything. They have already had every excuse made for them on why they should be allowed to quit.
We all want our kids to be successful and happy. Often we forget though that being successful is a lot of hard work. It takes years of dedication, sleepless nights, aches, pains, and even sorrows to eventually enjoy success. We as parents need to challenge our kids instead of allowing them to quit. We need to be parents instead of friends. We need to be leaders and examples on what it means to overcome. Often as a pastor I would hear people say I just want to quit. I would always respond the same way by saying, “I’m so glad Jesus never quit.” He was and is my example to all parts of life. Today I pray each day that my life be a living example to all of those around me. My hope is that you will rise up to the challenge and be an example today.
Winning is a learned behavior!