Part of Being Human
It’s just part of the human condition. For all of our good intentions, we all screw up! We can all find fault with our parents’ approach to raising us. And try as we might to avoid repeating their mistakes, we make new ones that are just as bad.
Sometimes, we as parents try too hard to help things along for our kids. And, other times, kids unconsciously try to fulfill their parents’ broken dreams. My grandfather played “pro” baseball in the early days of traveling teams. My father had a major league baseball contract in his hands, but fate had other plans for him. I set out to be a better ball player than either of them, so that both would be proud of me for carrying the family tradition to the next level. I was a solid hitter, could pitch and catch, and ran like the wind. But, for whatever reason, I never could “click” with the sport the way I wanted to.
I think I was always discouraged that my father showed so little interest in my playing “the family sport”, and my grandfather passed away before he ever got to see me play. I loved baseball, but I think a lot of my motivation was misplaced. My kids also love baseball, and I never miss one of their games no matter what it takes to get there. But, I find myself having to work at keeping my desires for them in check. They really enjoy playing, but are not driven to excel in this area. I have to accept that and not force it. Sometimes, it’s hard for me to just let it be.
Same with so many other things that I’d love to be able to “give” them. They need room to be themselves, and I have to accept who they are and be proud of that. Not try to turn them into my dreams for them (or try to live through them). When it comes to PE, I don’t want either of them to ever suffer insecurities about “size”. But I have to be careful that I don’t “give” them any insecurities in the process of trying to “help” them. I like the idea of keeping communications very open with our kids, and if they ask or express interest we tell them about the existence of PE. Perhaps, then, we leave it entirely up to them to source the information. We can sometimes be too helpful, I think. I know I am way guilty of that. Letting them do a little scratching on their own for things is a good way to produce more self-reliant adults. I want my kids to have everything they need, but we can make them helpless by being TOO helpful.
Just thinking out loud, here!
I won’t be content until I’ve earned the name!