I would say that a solid fifty percent of people I know have kids in competitive something. That’s not an exaggeration.
Most of the girls are in dance, and the boys in hockey, with some swim, gymnastics and martial arts spattered amongst them too.
I remember hearing someone tell my friend, whose son is in competitive hockey, not to stress too much. “He likely will never be in the NHL,” they told her. I went home and had a conversation with my husband that night.
“Am I crazy that I have zero desire for my children to be extraordinary in sports?” He laughed. We talked about early ice times and tournaments and competitions and I’m pretty sure we said in unison, “Yeah. Eff that.”
I remember another time being at my daughter’s dance school and hearing moms talk about how they took second mortgages to help their children pursue their dreams of being a competitive dancer. Again, when my husband and I spoke about it, we said in unison, “Yeah. Eff that.”
The reality is, at this stage in their young lives, my children are average in sports. If they were extraordinary, we might sing a different tune. But I’m actually thrilled my kids are average and don’t appear to be MLB bound. They love their extra-curriculars and each have one a season in which they participate once a week (not including swimming).
Maybe it makes me a bad mom that I am happy with my kids being perfectly average, but I am thrilled that so far they don’t’ seem to excel at anything that will 1) cost us a ton of money, 2) take up a ton of time, and, probably most importantly to this non-morning person, 3) require super-early mornings.
I know I know, kids love to feel successful and talented and extraordinary and it’s a great experience for them and they make good friends and excel and gain confidence and spend their time doing physical things and aren’t on screens, etc. etc. etc.
I am not saying there’s not value to the time and commitment that so many parents are willing to sacrifice to help their children achieve their goals of being the best they can be at whatever they love. Don’t get me wrong. If it’s a sacrifice you’re all too happy to make, more power to you and your talented children.
Like my brother and I did, my kids enjoy their after school programs but they aren’t the kids everyone is looking at and saying ‘THAT kid is Broadway bound’. And that’s alright by me.
When my son first put on skates, just recently, he slipped and fell and then refused to let anyone help him get up. My six-year-old tried three times to get up and failed all three times. He didn’t give up though. He tried a 4th time and got to his feet on his skates. My husband said the look on his face was contagious, so was the pride he had for his perseverance and success.
“The kid didn’t give up,” he told me. “And he finally did it without help. He actually wasn’t half bad. He might end up being really good at this.” Crap. Hopefully he’s on the average side of good. If not, I might have to eat my words. Perhaps I’ll print out this blog and eat it, while I’m at the freezing cold ice rink at 7 in the morning.
For right now though, I’m kinda hoping he just kinda likes it and it is kinda good at it because I don’t want to do early mornings and drain my bank accounts.
You do you, son. But, if you can, stay average.
Tagged under: children activities,Parenting,sports parents,average,competition,competitive,extra-cirricular sports,honest parenting,gifted children,benefits of sports,taking kids to sports,not wanting to compete,children hockey,new hockey mom