Activities have always been a battle in my house. How does that make any sense?
I see my friends children popping around to baseball, soccer, ice skating, swimming, tennis, martial arts, gymnastics, dance, hockey, religion…You name it my friends children are doing it. Isn’t that normal? Isn’t that what kids do? They go to school and they have activities to do!
When I was younger my mom would let my brother and I do one activity at a time so she wasn’t running all over creation driving us everywhere. Smart lady! My kids have a mother who will drive all over creation. They don’t know how good they have it? Does any kid?
I have forced it along for many years now. I forced Max to try T-ball and he and Seth hated it, complaining to me that it was boring!
I attempted to put Max in Hebrew school as a kindergartner and he cried and cried for many reasons I could go on and on about.
I put him in soccer and forced him to go every week. I watched Max whiz along the field loving every minute of playing and yet the following week it was a battle again.
I put him in swimming and tennis over the summers and drag him kicking and screaming while he wailed that he wants to stay home and do nothing. I understood his point to a point and then watched him love swimming and love playing tennis. My child makes no logical sense to me!
I dragged him to Tae kwon Do 2-3 days a week for 8 months. He continued to tell me he had had enough and was ready to try something else. It was so good for him. It helped him focus. It gave him flexibility and strength. I loved his instructor. I loved what he was learning. How long was I going to force it?
Where is the commitment, the passion, the drive? He wants to be home. He wants to play with his friends! I know, I know he is only 6!
I listen to Ella tell me all summer she can’t wait to take dancing. I sign her up for dancing and we head off to the studio. I choose her preschool music teacher to be her dancing teacher and guess what: she hides behind me telling me she is too nervous and won’t go in. I hear a girl crying in the room and wonder how her mom so easily left her. I just can’t do it.
Ella is now begging for gymnastics. Seriously kid! What happened to dance? “Come on child of mine!!!!”
I drag Max to Hebrew school today (now first grade) talking it up explaining how much fun he is going to have and how much he is going to learn. I also begin telling him he needs to pick one activity to do other than Hebrew school. We survived through day one of Hebrew school! Point for mama! Point for Max!
I look in front of me at Temple at all the teenagers sitting there ready to volunteer their time at Hebrew school. My mind starts traveling to my kids being teenagers and needing to be good students, good athletes, good musicians and doing great volunteer work! They need to be well rounded so they get into college! Whoa mama! Snap back to 2013! Your kiddos are 6, 4 and almost 1! All is ok! Let’s stay in the present moment and not go spiraling to 10 years later!
So both kids are registered for Hebrew school. Both kids are asking for gymnastics.
“Max, you are awesome at soccer let’s do soccer again!”
“No mom, I want to do gymnastics. I keep telling you I really want to do gymnastics!”
Hebrew school and gymnastics! Should be interesting!
It is a day of realizations. My kids are only 6 and 4.
My kids may be nothing like me in this area. We will see. They are who they are.
I will get them involved. I will do my best to help them find their passions in life.
I will find that middle ground. I don’t want to be the drill sergeant parent forcing my kids to excel at something they don’t want to do. I also don’t want to be the pushover parent who lets them quit everything they try! Whether they want to be gymnasts, painters or singers, whatever they choose, I will be the cheerleader parent cheering my kids on in whatever they choose.