Q: I’ve been considering quitting dance and I’m worried that my parents will be upset with me if I go through with it. I’ve been dancing since elementary school and I’m currently on a travel team. On top of that, I’m one of the co-captains of my school dance team. Lately, I’ve been losing interest in dancing. I’m only sticking to it to avoid upsetting those around me, especially since everyone knows me as “the dancer”. I’m not sure if I want to slow down or totally stop, but I know I need to tell my parents something before they sign me up for another year of dance classes.

A: It feels like you have a lot of pressure on you to continue dancing even as your passion for it is waning. It seems like you have already spent time reflecting before making this big decision. The next step, as you’ve mentioned, is to begin a conversation with your parents. To settle your nerves, we suggest you arrange a time when you know your parents will be around to listen and give you their full attention. Plan to explain your thought process and your feelings about slowing down or possibly leaving the sport.  Parents can be wonderful supporters of their kids’ hobbies and extracurriculars, but that can be a double edged sword. You may face their disappointment or even pushback. Remember that they have probably spent a lot of time and money supporting your passion and they are likely invested in the idea of you continuing. As you tell them about this decision, be assertive yet compassionate, and in the end, remember that this is your life.