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I WANT TO QUIT! -- Teaching the Value of Commitment

I WANT TO QUIT!  -- Teaching the Value of Commitment
This quarter, our character education program, The CORE, has been presenting the value of commitment to elementary students in Murfreesboro and Rutherford County.  Commitment is an important character trait because it encompasses all other core values.  It is important that we learn the value of commitment at an early age because so much of our adult life depends on our ability to put commitment into practice.

What we practice, we learn . . . 

This spring, every Saturday morning, I have had the wonderful experience of watching three year olds play soccer.  If you have never watched three year olds play soccer, you are missing out on a good laugh.  Most three year olds do not understand soccer, but some like to run and some like to play with a ball.  Some have so much energy that their parents are looking for an outlet, any outlet, for their child to expend some of this energy.  So, they register their three year old for soccer.  They sign the forms, pay the fee, buy the uniform and a new soccer ball, and tell their three year old how great it will be to play soccer.  They are committed!  Soccer, what’s soccer?  The child doesn’t know, but he is excited because his parents are excited.  It is time for the first game. The parents show up with their child, thirty minutes early, so the child can get in some “practice” before the game.  He checks out the big guy in the tee shirt that says “Coach,” and runs to join the other boys who are wearing the same clothes.  They run and fall over each other, kick the ball and run after it, fall over each other again, fall over the ball (because their legs are short and the ball hits them right below the knee).  This is fun!  Then it’s time for the game.  The game starts, they run and fall over each other, kick the ball and run after it, fall over each other again, fall over the ball . . . This is boring!  One by one, or sometimes the whole team, make their way to the sideline to find their parents.  I’m tired.  I’m hungry.  I’m thirsty.  I don’t want to play soccer.  The coach herds them all back onto the field, and all the fun begins again.  All the while, the parents continue to encourage and cheer for their three year olds and bring them back week after week for another exciting adventure in soccer. 

This is how we begin to teach our children the value of commitment.  When we love and support and encourage and cheer for our children, we teach them that commitment is important.  When they want to quit, we encourage them to go back for just a little longer.  When they are bored, we cheer for them to keep going.  We bring them back, week after week.  The more we learn to put the value of commitment into practice as a child, the more we are able to be committed as an adult . . . in our jobs, in our relationships, to our children.
What we practice, we learn . . . so practice teaching your children the value of commitment. You may just learn how to be a more committed parent in the process.

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