A couple of weeks ago I posted with some fervor about my child’s lack of interest in participating with other kids. Specifically at soccer practice. I was set and determined to offer two options: play soccer with the other kids, or sit on mommy’s lap. Screaming or not, those were going to be the options.
And advice came flooding in. Not just in response to the post, but in real life, at soccer practice, as well. Pretty much the advice went something like this: let your kid be a kid. If they don’t like soccer, don’t force it.
So I caved. Not just because of the advice. But because my method clearly wasn’t working. For me, the big thing isn’t that my child doesn’t want to be the next Pele; it’s that participation in anything has become such an uphill battle. We’ve left soccer early twice now.
Once was because I was having a particularly emotional day, and I couldn’t handle (or accept, perhaps?) that my two-choices method wasn’t working. I gave up. I caved. I felt defeated. So we left ten minutes early so mommy could cry in the car. It wasn’t a failure on my child’s part; it was a failure in parenting for myself as far as I was concerned. Either I gave up too easily, or I had been going at it the wrong way the whole time. Either way, I was wrong, wrong, wrong. Part of it is the pride, but the bigger part was that when you do something wrong when it comes to parenting, the person who loses the most is your child. I want to do right by them. And in situations like this, I’m just not sure what “right” is.
The other time was when grandma went to soccer practice because my husband and I had a previous engagement. Apparently all was going well on the playground, and then suddenly running around the parking lot became the only cool thing to do. Not safe, and the tantrum that ensued couldn’t be quelled, so she packed it in. I don’t blame her. Do you notice that none of that has anything to do with soccer?
But we dress up in cleats and their soccer shirt every practice, nonetheless. The coaches never forget my kid’s there, and always encourage them to come play. There’s a special soccer ball set aside just waiting for them.
We’ll keep trying. We’ve got an incredibly athletic kid. We’ve got an incredibly amazing kid. Hopefully I’ll learn to become an amazing parent, but man, is this a process.
Also, just so everyone knows, there’s a new addition to the Femme Frugality team! Kayla will be doing some commenting for me, so if you see her on your blog, know that I sent her with love!