Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Parenting Done Right

Not everything my children do pleases me. Take, for example, their choices of sport. Our oldest daughter has decided that track would be fun. This wouldn't have been my choice for a couple of reasons. First, it's like NASCAR. I don't know how so many people can be enthralled with a bunch of drivers turning left for four hours. Track is sort of like NASCAR, only slower...much......much.........s    l   o   w   e    r. 

Second, it's an outdoor sport in the spring of northern Indiana. This, of course, means it could be winter weather and you'll need your coat and a blanket. Or it could be spring like, which means you'll need an umbrella. Either way, it only adds to the torture enjoyment of the event.

Our son then chose soccer. Guess when this take place? That's right, the Spring. Guess where? Outside in an area of town that is so flat that when wind gusts begin in Kansas, they reach us in Indiana and just keep swirling around. Good times!

The only indoor sport chosen so far has been cheer leading. What can I say about cheer leading? When I didn't realize my daughter was serious, I told her cheer leading was for girls who couldn't actually compete in the sport. What can I say, I'm very nurturing as a dad. 

But sports do give us many teachable moments with our kids. Sportsmanship is not something that comes naturally, as evidenced by the angry parents yelling at the referees officiating elementary-age sporting events. Ummmm...yeah.
Recently, after watching my daughter come in dead last at her track meet, I met up with her, expecting to console her after a tough loss. She came running up to me and exclaimed, "That...was....AWESOME!" 

So you're taking it well?

She explained to me how her little track mind worked and why it was awesome. I didn't argue. 

We've repeatedly taught our kids that the goal with games and sports is to have fun, no matter whether you win or lose. Should it surprise me that they have believed us? She was having fun. It didn't matter that all she physically saw was the backs of the others girls heads. What she experienced was the joy of running and the positive lessons she could take from this for the next meet.

Which will be outside in the Indiana Spring, of course. 

So what can I learn from all of this? Well, despite how I feel sometimes, my children are listening. They are watching and learning what I am teaching them. So I need to persevere and keep teaching them. 

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