Tuesday, May 13, 2014

My Child's First Resignation Letter

Again, my children signed up for a bunch of activities, stuff that they really really wanted to do and promised to do without whining or dragging their feet when time to go to practice/rehearsal.  And again, mid-way through after realizing that practice is every week and not always so fun, they are whining and dragging their feet. But for the most part, they get there. You know, because I paid for it and they have to commit to a thing and sometimes activities are boring, life can't be a merry-go-round of excitement all the time, etc., etc.

Which leaves me to wonder - what am I doing to myself? Why not just let them quit and then I can stay home, save some gas, and finish reading this book I've been carrying around with me forever?  Is teaching them the concept of commitment really worth my sanity?  Well, the last time my daughter gave me the list of excuses - so much homework, a stomach ache, looks like rain - I decided that there's a lesson to be learned in quitting, too.

I let me daughter quit one of her after-school activities with two conditions.

  1. She owed me half of the fees that I had paid. She had birthday money, snow shoveling money, allowance and could pay me back in installments.  No point in me taking a financial loss when she changed her mind. 
  2. She had to write a letter of resignation. Yes, like the kind when you leave a job.  I wanted her to realize that you can't just walk out on an activity and leave a group who is depending on you to show up. Whether a choir, a sports team, the school play, or game of jump rope - folks are counting on you to be there and take your role and if you're going to quit on them, you at least let them know you're leaving and offer an explanation.

The letter is done, we emailed it to the appropriate people and they have acknowledged that they received it.  We are free from racing across town one evening of the week, our calendar has a few more blank spaces on it, and I've read a few more pages in my book. As for my financial recovery?  Still waiting.

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