Have you noticed that your kid doesn’t have as much enthusiasm towards their sport as they once had? Is their love for the game no longer there? Have they mentioned wanting to quit?

For some children, the signs of wanting to quit their sport may go on for weeks. Some parents are completely caught off-guard when their kid suddenly announces that they no longer want to play.

While it’s always best to support your child with their decisions, it’s important to determine if they are making the right one when they decide to leave something that they once showed so much love for. If your child is going through the “I want to quite” stage, you need to determine why. Just as with everything in life, there are good and bad reasons for quitting.

When your child first approaches you with their decision to quit, think about the days or weeks that led up to this moment. Were there already signs that your kid was withdrawing from the sport? Were they no longer excited to go to practice? Did playing at the games seem like a chore to them?

If so, it may be a time to get to the source. There may be a deep and possibly disturbing reason why they’ve lost love for the sport they once enjoyed. And quitting the sport without resolving that issue first is like sweeping dirt under the rug. The last thing you want is for your child to walk away from something without dealing with their emotions. They may carry that trauma with them their entire lives.

If the announcement to quit has come as a complete surprise, it may be a spur of the moment decision. Something may have happened at practice or something else has caught their attention. The reality is that some children naturally outgrow sports as they grow up, start hanging out with new friends who don’t play sports, or discover new hobbies.

Another reason why they may want to quit as they grow older is that they no longer feel that they can handle the demands of both studies and sports. If this is the case, it’s a very valid reason to quit.

Some kids are quite happy to juggle both school and sports. This is typical for children who identify themselves as student-athletes. And the reality is that some kids are just better at juggling multiple roles.

When it comes to your kid’s “I want to quit” phase, ensure that you give it your attention. If they have new interests, be supportive especially if they show passion for it. If they’ve withdrawn from the sport emotionally, there may be an underlying issue that needs to be resolved such as bullying by teammates, an abusive coach, or other unfortunate reasons why your child wants to leave the sport behind.

Whatever the case, support your child. Be their strongest advocate.