Friday, August 07, 2009

This Isn't Paradise...

I walked into the gym to pick the kids up yesterday and was met with a sullen glare and "I don't WANT to go to football practice". Well hello to you too. So THAT'S how this afternoon is going to go?

I spent the next hour ignoring angry professions of hatred for football and fighting my own desire to just let him quit. It wasn't pretty. He's also now far surpassed the weight at which I can physically force him to do anything so the entire time I was contemplating what I would DO if he did refuse to get in the car. Finally, I gathered up all necessary football uniform related items and ordered both whining children into the car. The entire time wondering who I was doing this for? Did our family truly need this? At what cost do you INSIST that they have fun? Should children be forced to physically endure something they currently hate if you know in your heart they'll love it eventually? Is it worth it? Have we as a society taught children that they shouldn't continue something that is too hard or physically challenging? If I let him quit would that make him a quitter forever? GAH!

I finally got Daddy on the phone who tried talking to him through the tears and told him he was GOING to practice and to stop torturing his mother. We eventually got him on the field and he had a good practice. He was fine afterward and even spoke of getting his football pads next week.

In retrospect, I think the poor kid has a lot of anxiety about anything challenging and thinking about going to practice all afternoon put him into a foul foul mood. I still don't know what all the answers are but I do think that I am too hesitant to push my kids. I think he needs this and that I have to overcome my own hatred of seeing him miserable.

I learn more about parenting everyday.


  1. I so so so feel your pain. I was a single mom for years and was always the bad guy, plus I didn't have a partner to help be the bad guy sometimes, so when it came to wanting to quit a sport or violin lessons or something I was always letting them quit. It was less of a strain on me just to give in. Now I have one teenager that never finishes anything. I'm pretty sure it's my fault. The younger one wasn't affected as much, maybe because I now have a husband who wont let them quit.
    Good rule of thumb, if you can make it stick, is that now I won't make them play a sport or take a lesson, but if they start it they have to finish out the season. Lately it's worked pretty well, even for the older one... although we still have to fight about it sometimes.

    fyi- finishing a second round of pharmacy friday and will have your question in it. Thanks for giving it to me again, sorry I lost it!!

  2. My oldest is 15 and I have renacted this same scenerio :)

  3. My sister recently went through this with my niece & soccer. She hated playing because she was the youngest on the team and not as good as the other girls (and the coach rarely let her play, saying it was because she was the youngest and not as good - what a jerk!!). My sis made her at least finish the season (don't let down your team, your coach isn't being fair, etc etc) then let her decide if she wanted to play again next time. What did she decide? Art class.

    Oh and my sis gave the coach a piece of her mind, too. :)

  4. Zach is so smart and maybe because he hasn't had to work super hard at school to be successful he's finding this to be a whole new world - working super hard to be successful on the field. And we all know how working super hard sucks ass. He's just figuring that out for the first time. You're doing a good job, mom.

  5. well, as you know, I'm not a parent but I did the same exact thing to my parents when it came to learning how to down hill ski. The folks had spent all this money right after we moved to NH on X-country skis and then they took us on a ski weekend. Well, when my brothers and I saw the people down hill skiing we were like...the X-country bit is too much work. We want to learn how to down hill. So, my parents took us and did the whole lesson sign up and when it came time for the rental experience I had to give my weight to make sure the bindings were adjusted properly. So, here's this wicked HOTTIE behind the counter taking down the information my mother's reeling off and then he asks my weight. I was 14 and totally embarrassed that I was over my weight. No way was I disclosing this. So, I looked at my mom with tears welling up in my eyes and said "that's it, don't want to do this anymore." Then, I walked out and left her standing there. She ended up giving him my weight and as you know I ended up learning how to ski.

    You never know, one day he may just be standing there accepting the Heisman trophy and thanking you and Matt.

    You guys are doing a great job with the kids.

  6. Thanks everyone, for all the fantastic replies.

    I was really nervous about last night as the temp was 96 and 50% humidity. He ended up doing great and was REALLY excited when they got their pads and practice jerseys. He still says he isn't playing next year and wishes he hadn't started but at least we're to the point of being willing to play THIS year.


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