Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Recently my son’s first high school soccer season came to an end.  He shared the goalie position with another boy who revealed proudly that he will always have a place on the soccer team because he and his dad know all the important people who make team decisions.  Politics, parents and sports, it gets ugly. But it isn’t just in sports.  Allowing our kids to rise and fall on their own merit is something we parents are not very good at these days.
For instance, our 7th grader is not a detail oriented student.  His teachers hold high expectations for students to be detailed in their assignments.  Sometimes I think their expectations are too high and the grading system serves only to be a kick in the teeth for a hard working kid like mine.  So, what is a parent to do?  I could complain to the teacher, or better yet, the principal.  I could demand that they be easier on my kid.  Or I could let my son struggle and figure it out. 
I’ve decided to let him struggle.  Anxiety provoking, I know.  But I’m holding to the belief that struggling through a difficult situation, facing failure or discomfort, will actually serve him well.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not leaving him hanging out there alone.  I’m trying to equip him with new study skills, working on ways to pay attention to details, and teaching him to listen closely to his teacher’s instructions.  If I were to do more than that, I would be robbing him of learning how to cope with life’s demands.  He is learning to take responsibility for his own work and deal with the demands of others.  I’m not saying it’s an easy choice, and I know it’s not the popular choice, but I trust it’s one of the best things I can do for my kid. 


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