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April 3, 2007 / missknowitall

Daughter Should Finish What She Starts

Dear Little Miss,

I have an active, smart daughter who I love very much.  I really want to encourage her in anything she shows an interest in.  Lately I’ve started to worry because she never seems to finish anything she starts.  She will start writing a story and never finish it (she has started eight really good stories).  She was interested in skating so I bought her a pair of roller skates and now she won’t touch them.  She wanted to learn to sew so I got her into lessons and bought her a complete sewing kit for Christmas and she hasn’t touched the kit.  Now she wanders around me telling me how bored she is but when I suggest she work on one of her projects she just sighs and walks away.  What can I do to encourage my daughter to finish what she starts so that she doesn’t develop this bad habit any further?

 Signed~ Wasting Money

Dear Wasting Money, 

You are smart to try and stop this habit before your child gets any older (and one is never to old to try and break this habit).  It is always fun to feel that first thrill of a new project.  You have lofty aspirations, you get to buy new things, you get to tell everyone about how interesting you are about to become.  Then all of a sudden reality hits, you realize that it is going to be a lot of work, that you aren’t going to be good at it till you’ve practiced a lot, and next thing you know you have boxed it up and put it in the closet until you are “ready” to do it.  Really the only way to break your daughter of this habit is to get her to finish one of her previous projects (NOT a new one).  So, how do you get her to finish something?  If you want to do it with out her whining and driving you crazy then you have to do it too.  If you want her to finish a story then write a story too.  Sit at the table and write together.  Tell her that when you both finish your stories, no matter how awful or corny they are, you will both go out to celebrate.  If you want her to use her sewing kit then get the same kit for yourself and sit on the floor with lots of pillows and start sewing.  She will want to now simply because she will now have a buddy to do it with and you will be there to help and model what to do.  Remember that once you start this with her, you must finish it with her.  Doing this will not only help your daughter learn how to finish what she starts, but you will build a wonderful bond with her that she will remember.  And if not…. well then  you are welcome to stash her unfinished projects in my “unfinished projects closet”.  Oh come on, I bet we all have one of those.

Finishingly yours,

Miss Knowitall 

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One Comment

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  1. MJ / Apr 6 2007 8:22 am

    Another suggestion, the next time she wants to start something, make her help pay for it, then she has an investment in seeing it through. I know one lady who will pay for a project if it is finished, if not, their child has a contract to pay for it instead. They rarely leave something undone unless they have thought it through, money is something they’ve worked hard to earn and they value it.

    MJ

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