The Day My Kid Quit My Favorite Sport


The Day My Kid Quit My Favorite Sport | Duluth Moms Blog

From the moment I knew I was having a girl, I dreamed that she’d be a figure skater. Not in the psycho dance-mom type of way, but in the way that I knew I had made lifelong friends doing a sport I loved. I wanted her to have that same experience. So I did everything I could to foster her love of the sport – she had skates when she was two and started lessons when she was three years old. By four, she was in her first ice show. And guess what? She loved it. And I loved it. Mission complete.

Fast forward six years. I could see it coming from a mile away. She started getting involved in other activities and worked to schedule her skating lessons around them, instead of vice versa. She dragged her feet more and more when it was time to leave for practice. However, every time she entered the rink I was reassured by the smile on her face that she would be with this sport for years to come.

Wrong. Looking back I realized that she was trying to drop hints long before I caught on. Conversations turned from “next year I will…” to “if I skate next year…” At that point I knew I had to give her permission. It sounds dramatic, but she knew how important the sport was to me. We had traveled to shows, competitions, and exhibitions. We have spent more money than I even want to imagine. I was even on the board of directors for the skating club. She knew. I knew. So last week, I told her I was behind her 100%. With tears in her eyes and some trepidation, she ended it.

The Day My Kid Quit My Favorite Sport | Duluth Moms Blog

And you know what? The world didn’t end. I could see the weight instantly lift off her shoulders and she began to make plans for the one million other things she is interested in. She has begun to expand her horizons.

My daughter learned a lot throughout her time in my favorite sport and she made some great friends. But it was me who learned the most through this process. I could have easily talked her back into it or gave her some ultimatums or incentives to continue. Instead I took a step back and thought about what this little ten year old was teaching me about life.

For example, the experiences I had growing up will never be the same for her. Too much has changed. She is part of a completely different generation. Gone are the days of the three-sport athlete and here are the times where if you don’t start your kid in soccer by 4 years old, you’ve doomed them for life. Friendships are different, technology has evolved, and expectations have increased. As much as I would love for her to relive my childhood, I need to realize that this is her path to pave. And I can only hope that she is in my shoes in 30 years wanting her kids to experience everything she did.

The Day My Kid Quit My Favorite Sport | Duluth Moms Blog

My kid has also taught me that changing courses can be a good thing. It’s okay to drop what you’re doing and try something new. Life is too short to not be doing what you find a passion for, even at 10 years old (this excuse does not work when it comes to doing the dishes, however). This will not be the first time she shifts her interests, and trying something new is even harder than doing the same thing for years and years. I should be so bold.

Finally, I have learned the art of letting go. I’m not going to lie, it’s going to be painful selling the skates and dresses that have so many memories wrapped up in them. It won’t be easy seeing the pictures of her friends successes in the sport. But there is so much more. Instead of looking back, it’s time to look forward. It’s time to embrace a new future. Time to make new friends. Time to learn the art of skiing. Or swimming. Or volleyball (please, not volleyball…). It’s time for her to live her life, and I’m glad I can be here to cheer her on.



  1. LOVE this! what a beautiful reflection on trying to give them everything–including the best parts of our youth–but staying behind them as they forge ahead.

  2. My daughter was a skater too. She loved it. Always asking to skate more. Joined a synchro team in 4th grade and excelled. I loved watching synchro. Then a serious injury happened. She ended up returning to skating and synchro but it was never the same. Within a year, she was done with synchro and another 6 months, she was done with skating. She’s tried lots of other things and dance team at school is her passion now. I love to watch her doing what she loves! Proud of her hard work and commitment.

  3. For my family, it is volleyball. I played Division 1 & have coached for decades. Of my three daughters, only the youngest chose volleyball. She excelled. Made varsity earlier, played on the best clubs, and she is being recruited by several colleges. 6 months ago, she told me that she wanted to skip playing in college and become an airborne combat med. While I am so proud of her, I am also so sad that I won’t get to see her play anymore and so afraid that her new goal will end up hurting her.

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