A Soccer Update

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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!

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11 thoughts on “A Soccer Update

  1. Britnee

    You are not bad parents. I had the same feeling when my daughter didn’t continue to play field hockey. I felt terrible and a failure. Then I felt guilty because she was playing to make ME happy. I completely understand what you are saying here. I always want to be the perfect parent and just realized there is no such thing. Like you say parenting is a process. 🙂

    Reply
  2. Suburban Finance

    I don’t have any children so I don’t know how it feels like to be a parent… But I’m still my parents’ child, and I still remember how I didn’t like to have after school music lessons that my parents told me to do because I thought they were too boring. I was more of an outdoor kid and I chose to play sports instead. As I grew up though, I actually got more interested in music and I’m glad I still understand the basics because of those hours of music lessons when I was younger. I sometimes even wish I hadn’t decided to quit. Your son might not understand what you’re doing to him now, but I think as he grows older he will understand and hopefully find something that he’s really passionate about 🙂

    Reply
    1. femmefrugality

      I sure hope so! I don’t even care if it’s soccer…just participation in anything would be great. Spoiler alert for the next update, though: last practice they were actually watching the other kids play….showing some sort of interest is a huge improvement!!!

      Reply
  3. Prudence Debtfree

    There are fine lines in parenting between insisting upon an activity for your child because you know it’s good for him/her, letting your child do the activities that he/she gravitates towards naturally, and subconsciously getting your child to do what you wish you had done. I’ve done all three. It’s not easy! All the best as you navigate this territory.

    Reply
    1. femmefrugality Post author

      It’s so difficult to navigate! I’m pretty sure I can cross off the wish I had done thing, as I never really aspired to become a phenomenal soccer player, but the other two have me so torn. Thank you for your encouragement!

      Reply
  4. Messy Money

    I started to reply with a long story about my son but erased it and offer this —— I have come to realize that as long as our children are safe, healthy, and basic needs are met – everything else is gravy and you can’t really screw it up. Go with your gut. There are no rules. Best of luck – this too shall pass.

    Reply

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