“Quit while they’re still kicking” or when to know it’s time to leave

Learning to skate with walkers helps kids gain confidence.

One of the best pieces of teaching advice I ever got was “Quit while they’re still kicking.”
At first, I didn’t get it.
Why quit if the kids are still having fun?
Turns out, there’s an art to knowing when to end an activity.

Here’s a case in point.
I went skating on Monday with my 5- and 6-year-old nieces and their mother at Hartmeyer Ice Arena. It was the girls’ first time on skates and I thought they did really well.

They used walkers at first and then graduated to skating on their own. Sure, they fell down a lot, but they seemed to enjoy it…at first. After about an hour of skating, the novelty wore off and they grew tired of falling.

Tears came shortly thereafter. I suggested to their mother that it may be time to leave, but the girls objected. They stayed a bit longer and the whining increased as the kids grew more and more tired. Then, they wanted to go.

While it is very difficult to leave while kids are still having fun, I find that it’s always better to leave them wanting more. Forty-five minutes to an hour is plenty for a first time activity. Then, the next time, they’ll be excited to go again.

Let me know how you decide when enough is enough.

2 thoughts on ““Quit while they’re still kicking” or when to know it’s time to leave

    • I’ll have to check out your blog. When I’m working with groups of kids, there seems to be magic time, usually about a 45 minute to an hour. Any more than that and kids start to get tired and cranky. They will not stop on their own… usually. It is hard to leave, but a promise of a nice snack is always good. Hot chocolate on a cold day works every time. Let me know how your adventures go and please register for my blog if you like and “like” things to help me spread the word.

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