Tuesday, November 3, 2009


I signed the boys up for two free classes at the library. They are geared for 1st-2nd graders (for D2) and 3rd-6th graders (for T).

One is a creative writing thing and the other is a book club. They both meet for 7 weeks.

With the first meeting of the creative writing class, D2 went to his and was just sitting there. T, of course, met everyone in the room within 30 seconds and was writing up a storm. Dave went and asked why D2 wasn't doing anything and he said he didn't know what to do. Dave came and told me this and when I walked over to the class, the doors were shut.

After the hour was up, Dave asked D2 what he'd written and he said, "Nothing. I didn't know what to do." I asked, "You didn't know what to do or you couldn't think of anything to write?" He just said yes.

Dave asked, "Did you not like the class?" and when D2 said no, Dave blew me away when he told D2 that he didn't have to come back if he didn't like it.


I said, "Yes, he does." And I took Davis by the hand and walked back to the class and the teacher and I talked with D2 about how he could ask for help and get a better understanding of what he needed to do next time.

Then Dave and I had this argument about whether or not D2 had to go back. I said, "Absolutely!" and Dave said, "If he's not into it, then it just becomes a chore and he'll start to hate it!" I said, "I don't see how he can tell if he's into it or not when he doesn't even give it a chance. He's been to ONE session! So you're telling me if we signed him up for football and after ONE practice he said he didn't like it, you'd tell him he didn't have to go back?"

Dave said yes and I called bullshit.

I think one of the biggest problems I've had in life is the ability to quit when things got difficult. Not important things like surviving - I'm great at that! But other important things like school, work, whatever. It may be cowardly and it may be bullshit but I totally blame my parents for this. With very few exceptions, they let my brother and I quit anything we didn't feel like doing (after-school activities-wise). For my parents, it always seemed like one less thing they had to pay for/drive us to.

I don't want that for my boys. I want them to A) get some diversity and B) stick it out. It's once a week for 7 weeks. I don't want to raise quitters.

Last year, when T was doing that cumulative marathon thing, he got bored with it and wanted to quit. Dave and I decided he had to finish. It was one mile, twice a week with the final mile in downtown Denver. And that final mile was so much fun for him! He didn't want to do it again this year but I think it was good for him to finish what he started.

Dave says the difference is that T asked to participate in that activity where I just signed the boys up for the library thing.

I could use some opinions on this. I'm still going to make D2 stick it out but I'm curious to see what y'all think.

Quitters never prosper, Ruth!


sophanne said...

You're looking for opinions and I'm with Dave on this one-it's the part about not asking to join that got me.

Heide said...

Are you crazy? I'm not touching this one with the proverbial 10 foot pole! I see validity to both points of view, but without knowing your family and their dynamics it would be impossible for me to give any valid input. My best advice... alcohol. For you. Not the kids.

Pam the Yarn Goddess said...

I'm with you, Ruth. It seems that parents are raising an entire generation of kids who can quit or do pretty much whatever they want (and not face any consequences). What's going to happen when they enter the real world? Are they going to quit their jobs when they don't like them anymore or when the going gets tough? Are they going to get their little feelings hurt when someone "disrespects" them? This is one of my pet peeves.

I was also made to finish what I started, whether I asked to do it or my mother just signed me up. I wasn't happy with her at the time, but now I thank her. Even if I eventually fail, at least I gave it my all. My shop is a good example. I held out as long as I could, but you know my circumstances. At least I tried and gave it my all. BTW, I never thanked you for all the hooks. They mean a LOT to me, and I want you to know that. Thank you. :)

Our daughter does the same damn thing. She'll start something and then quit when she gets bored with it. She's had more jobs than I do underwear. When she was younger, I could make her finish things; however, as an adult, I obviously don't have that ability. It didn't stick with her, but it seems to work with most kids. You need to at least try to instill good values in your kids and give guidance. Short of that, they're going to turn out however they're going to turn out. That's the problem with free-thinking beings - you can only guide and advise. If beating them into submission worked, well ...

Heide is right, though. I advise vodka. It's helped me through many a situation.

If you need to talk, you know where I am. :)

Carrie K said...

I'd have D2 go to at least one more session where he actually knew what he was supposed to do.

OTOH, 7 weeks is not a long time and it is good to learn that life isn't all fun at first.

Now if he actively LOATHED it, or it was way over his head, that'd be different.

k said...

I think he should at least go to one more session - with you sitting in there watching. When he doesn't know what to do, tell him to put his hand up in the air. That's the ONE thing he should learn - asking for help. When he's demonstrated that he CAN do that, then fine, whatever.
(Is creative writing his thing? Or is he one of those kids who seem limp?)