When our oldest child (who’s 19 now) was little, I signed him up for every sport and activity that you could name: basketball, soccer, piano lessons, computer camp. You name it, and we tried it at least once. I never made him repeat any activity that he didn’t like. And believe me, there were plenty of them.
There were times when I came home from work and had to hunt him down to tell him several times to get ready for practice. I was rushing, but he had no sense of urgency. In fact, there were times when he said: “I don’t want to go.” And during those times, I reminded him that he was part of a team, he made a commitment, and that he could not let the team down. So when we finished the season and we did not go back…but we did not Quit.
Quitting was not an option for several reasons:
As my son got older, I started to understand that sports was not what he was passionate about. It was computers, science, and building things. And so I put him in classes and programs to nurture those interests.
Because after all, it’s not about our desires or wants…its about the theirs. And the best thing that we can do as parents is to help our kids find out what they are passionate about and what makes them happy and nurture and support that. I accomplish this by exposing my kids to as many things as possible (activities, museums, classes, clubs, and vacations.)
Our ten year old is now showing interest in swimming. She has been taking swim lessons this summer and her swim coach says she would be perfect for the swim team. It’s perfect timing as the 2012 Summer Olympics have just started, and the swimming races are in full swing.
She sits on the couch with her dad and me and we watch the races. We cheer for and talk about 17 year old Missy Franklin who is one of the stars of the US Olympic Swim team. We also cheer on the Women’s Gymnastic team, the “Fabulous Five” and talk about what it took to make it to the Olympics. We talk about the hard work and sacrifice that goes into achieving your dreams.
We also let her watch a very moving, and inspiring video about Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas that shares the sacrifices that she and her family have made in order for her make the Olympic team. At one point, Gabby wanted to give up…but her mother told her no…and the rest is history as Gabby won a gold medal this week!!!
Will my daughter love swimming and want to pursue the Olympics? Who knows? But she does know that she can be and do whatever she wants as long as she is willing to work for it. She also knows that she will always have mom and dad’s support and encouragement.
Have you been watching the 2012 Summer Olympic’s and rooting for Team USA? Duracell has made it easy for you to encourage the US Athletes as they go for the gold. Just go to the Duracell Virtual Stadium on facebook and send an inspiring message to the athletes that will be displayed on 25+ foot high-tech screens in London this summer.
BMWK family – Do you ever allow your kids to quit?
Disclosure: I was compensated for this blog post as part of the SocialMoms and Duracell blogging program. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own