“Fear is a distressing negative sensation induced by a perceived threat. It is a basic survival mechanism occurring in response to a specific stimulus, such as pain or the threat of danger. “ – wikipedia
“To Quit is to give up or resign” – dictionary.com
Two negative feelings we don’t want to experience. So when a 10 year-old child suggests that he wants to quit something he truly enjoys, as a parent, you kind of wonder why.
Is it a permanent change or did something occur?
Why would your child decide to give up something that he seemed to fully enjoy?
Or maybe we are so used with the rigorous schedule that we are on auto-pilot:, we can’t even see what’s bothering someone.
The past few weeks, my little guy was apprehensive in going to gymnastics. He would come up with excuses – even tried to condition his body into getting a fever, asthma attack and severe headaches.
Last week, he was crying hysterically and came up with different reasons like joining a team sports or do nothing.
But before we entertain the idea of quitting, we needed to know the real reason why. So after a few Q&A, my husband deduced that my little guy was scared of getting badly hurt. It turned out that an incident at practice (high bar) got my little guy so scared that he didn’t want to try it ever again.
Although he didn’t get hurt physically, the thought of “what could have had happened if his coach did not catch him on time” scared my little guy! And my little guy does not get scared easily. He would do flips and stunts at the playground, skatepark, ski slopes, swimming pool and our driveway without even thinking twice. But I guess that one incident traumatized him.
There’s nothing worth doing if you are not happy, uncomfortable and fearful. We then spoke to our son’s coach about our son’s apprehension towards gymnastics. Even before we could relay the full story, the coach already knew why and what to do next.
The night after that practice, our little guy came home with a renewed trust and comfort. He felt that he can be in control, and all he needed to do is say something – and that we are here for him to support, guide and love him no matter what.