My Child Gives Up Easily

Students give up and quit for many reasons.  Parents need to get very good at reading their child’s “soul signals” so they can help him. Here are five general reasons why a child quits a project or gives up easily:

1. He gives up because he is afraid to try.

A fear of some kind lurks behind this choice, most likely a fear of failure or falling short. The question parents need to ask is: where is the fear coming from? Are the standards in the home unreasonably high? Has the child been ridiculed or criticized for falling short before? Does he live in a climate of perfectionism?

2. He gives up because he believes the task is futile.

The child thinks that completing the task is beyond his ability, perhaps impossible. This belief could be either right or wrong.  Still, neither possibility justifies not trying.  Some students will see an impossible task and get excited. They will try to conquer it anyway. A low self-concept, a lack of confidence, hope, or encouragement could be reasons why the child gives up.

3. He gives up because he does not want to work so hard.

A student conditioned to have everything will have trouble rolling up his sleeves and persevering when confronting difficulties.  His will has not been exercised; it has not yet been tempered by the virtues of hard work, grit, persistence, or self-sacrifice. Chances are good he has been softened by a life of pleasure and ease. This problem is correctable, but the student will need to learn some hard lessons in the process.

4. He gives up because he is apathetic.

Apathy is a lack of passion or desire; it is the fruit of over-indulgence and satiation. The student’s soul has become so numb that the child can no longer choose anything (will), even that which is good. Selfishness is the root problem here. And the solution is to remove all the pleasures for a time and then provide rugged training in difficult things to shape the soul to desire the right things once again.

5. He gives up because he desires other things.

Activities which are pleasurable or easy can pose a challenge to noble and worthwhile efforts, causing the child to quit the one in favor of the other. This could be a problem of disordered desires, too much affection for the wrong things. The child does not love what he ought to love.

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