When Quitting Is Exactly What Our Kids Need Us to Do

Sometimes I wanted to quit. Sometimes I actually did!

I recall trying to teach Joey the colors red and white with towels I hung on the bathroom towel rack across from the toilet. While he sat to go to the bathroom, we would practice knowing his colors. NOT! For months and months I did this. For months he wasn’t potty trained (until after age 5, actually!) and he didn’t know his colors for a lot longer. So I quit the colors and stayed faithful to the potty training!

I don’t recall if it was days, months, or years later…..but there was Joey reaching for and touching the color circles on the game of TWISTER with his sisters. HE KNEW HIS COLORS! How did that happen? I don’t really know! But it wasn’t me, because I quit teaching him! Somewhere along the way he learned….without me!

A high school friend and I had sons around the same time with many of the same special needs; however as time went on, there were differences, and at one point my friend recalls asking me, “When Joey started walking, what did you do that therapy wasn’t doing?” She told me she was prepared to take notes when I responded, 

“Probably nothing. There were some things I simply quit doing and he eventually learned.” 

Not much encouragement, but simply the truth, and I’m thankful she recalls the comment giving her freedom from the pressure she felt to make things happen.

For those of us helping our children through years of ongoing therapies we know that even when we take the assignment seriously and work with our child at home as well as what they do at therapy, there are times that reality will hit our hearts and remind us they were just ready for the next step with or without our help. That doesn’t mean we totally quit or just stop helping, but it might mean we take a little break until their mind and body adjust to whatever they’ll need to learn next.

For those reasons, I’m glad I sometimes said, “I QUIT!”