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.