Recently, my son came to me asking if he could quit his tabla classes. And not just temporarily, as he had often done during exams, for instance. No, this time he wanted to quit for good. And for no other reason than that he was bored.
Well, I refused. We had invested nearly 6 years in his classes, and that was not going to be wasted on a whim. But it was not a whim, he said, he was really bored of the tabla. I told him he was most probably hitting a plateau, as often happens in any learning endeavour; and the usual way to get over a slump is to power your way through until you get to the next level.
So, being an intelligent kid, he began to gather up more ammunition for his battle – he decided to rope in his father. Now my husband and I have different views on kid commitment: he is of the opinion that kids should be allowed to do what they want, and if they want to quit an activity that does not interest them, they should be given the option. Whereas I think that kids should learn about commitment and perseverance – if they take up an activity, they should not give it up mid-stream, but continue at least up for a certain time period or up to a certain accomplishment level. Learning anything is not easy, and kids should know that. Of course, I am not advocating pushing the kids if they are absolutely disinterested, but how will you know if it is a temporary slump or a real dislike until you have tried it long enough?
So help me out here – what are your views on kids commitment – to push or not?