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Dr. G.
Dr. G., Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1492
Experience:  Licensed Psychologist in the state of Minnesota
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Should I let my 11 year old son quit Tae Kwon Do He has been

Resolved Question:

Should I let my 11 year old son quit Tae Kwon Do? He has been taking classes for a little over a year and is more than half way to his black belt. My contract with the gym ends in August. I feel like he wants to quit because they are expecting him to try harder and practice more now that he is getting into the higher belts. He's quit every other thing he's wanted to start, he does about 3/4 of his school work, so he has average grades, his teeth and gums are in bad repair because he doesn't brush and floss well enough, and he won't practice the trumpet he just HAD to play this year. When confronted with his lack of effort he always says "I'm TRYING!" He only has about 4 of the 9 ADD indicators and those 4 are very mild. He's not a discipline problem in school. I don’t want to reinforce this “quitting” attitude, but I don’t want to force him to do something he’s not enjoying. (50/50 custody-5/2/2/5days schedule, we also have a 6yo daughter, divorce was 5 yrs ago, we've both remarried)
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Dr. G. replied 7 years ago.
Why does he want to quit?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
He says it isn't fun anymore. When I asked what part wasn't fun, he didn't really have an answer. I suspect the instructor has started calling him out for his lack of effort. The other kids try very hard, come out of class sweating and tired. My son gives 50% and stands around while the other kids are working hard. One time a few weeks ago when I asked him about something instructor had said (his kicks weren't high enough), my son said he just "can't" get them higher. I told him "can't" means he's giving up and if he's giving up there's no need to attend class anymore. He cried at the thought of not getting to go. His next belt test is coming up and he isn't ready, that might also be a reason he doesn't want to go. He will be getting the sixth of ten belts. Another thing is that he is in the same testing cycle as an older man who gets a lot of attention on their testing nights. It's just the two of them that started at the same time, so when they do the things required to get the next belt, it's just the two of them doing it in front of the crowd. The instructor always says something like, "Everybody look at Jim, how great he's doing and he's so old! Oh, and this kid gets promoted too." So basically, I think he's expected to try harder, which he isn't, and he doesn't get any positive attention from his instructor.
Expert:  Dr. G. replied 7 years ago.
I say keep him in it and continue to encourage him and praise him for his efforts. Maybe you can say you and him will discuss this after he receives his next belt. If he has a pattern of quitting things then he needs to learn to be responsible and stick it out. If he says he is trying then praise him for that.
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