I never understood moms with boys who say they love going to soccer games. Getting up Sunday morning at 6 am to get ready to go to small-ville to see their offspring run after a ball, hear parents yell awkward insults at the kids, the referee, or each other and drink bad coffee.
I'm not like them. I got shivers all over the day my girl told me she wanted to play soccer. I actually tried to keep her from doing it. The girl is an extreme sports and hobby fan and would want to have a sport or hobby to play every day. She plays guitar and has karate- and skateboard lessons. And she is still trying to get us to let her go to musical/theater lessons. I'm seriously considering it. One of those many rules I thought I would live by - before becoming a mom - was to not let kids do more than 2 things a week, because they also need to play with other kids and such. (I also thought kids should sleep in their own bed, and you should just kick them out - just to show you I don't live by any of those pre-mom rules). But not all kids are the same. My girl needs it! She has so much energy, and gets so angry when she's not able to move and interact enough.
I am so so happy she chose skateboarding. You see; the lessons are on Sunday morning, not too early, and I sit with a couple of very relaxed parents drinking good coffee, inside, while reading my mail or a book. And I love watching her. I laugh when she learns a new trick, get extremely excited when she gets to go in the bowl, and I burst with pride when I see her holding herself up between all those boys. I realized it doesn't matter what she does, it's watching her learn and have fun that is one of those silly, mushy things parents enjoy. Wish the kids would be this excited when they see my happiness from getting good food and a beer on Friday evenings.
Now, I do understand people love watching their kids play soccer. (Still happy I don't have to get up at 6 and stand in the rain though...)
There's also my son. And he is, as in every thing, the complete opposite of my daughter. He hates walking and especially loathes biking (He definitely does not qualify as Dutch, you would think he got switched at childbirth. Thing is, I delivered him at home so that's out of the question.)
Anything that looks like it will make him sweat, gets him into jelly mode. By that I mean: "my knees feel weak mom, I can't move, my legs are too short, you have to carry me or I will not love you", etc. What I don't understand is, that he is actually very physical. When I'm cooking a delicate risotto he'll suddenly attack me, just when I'm about to add a small splash of wine (well OK, not a big problem) but he will also tackle me when I just finished putting glitter sprinklers back in a box. At night he wraps his leg around me. Every night when he goes to sleep he asks us to fight and then cuddle. Why does such a physical little creature hate sports so much? I think it's because he is very sensitive. It's not to sports, it's the sweat, the fear of falling, the sound, the light, and the new places... It's all too overwhelming. But he needs to develop anyway, he needs to overcome his fears.
So I made him go to judo lessons. After going through the denial-anger-confusion stages, mostly on my part, he now is very proud to go to his lessons. I hope some day he'll be a bit less sensitive. Well, sensitivity is a beautiful trade, that would make our world much better if more people had it. I just hope he will learn to see that trying something new and scary might be a good thing, and turn out great. I hope he will be able to just jump into something and enjoy it, without over thinking all the things that could go wrong. If any of you have advice on how to deal with that... Please tell!
Anyway. Trying to keep your kids from overdoing it, is much easier than making them try more new stuff. It takes so much more out of your parenting skills...
For any of you who like reading about kids and psychology, here's some stuff that came to my mind writing about this; Go read about set / growth mindset. I'm trying it to make my son enjoy things more and have my daughter stop thinking she is either good or bad at something. The other thing is the importance of telling your kids you love to watch them play.
Amen to that. Now go play!