Play with your kid, you may learn something

My daughter and I love volleyball.   She recently finished her club level competition team tournament.  She is also trying out for her middle school volleyball team.  I have never seen something ignite this kid the way volleyball does.  She is engaged and wants to get better.

When she was smaller, she would create videos for Littlest Pet shop characters.  She would use rolls of scotch tape to create desks and lockers out of things she found around the house.  She would not really want me to watch her or join in playing with these characters.

With volleyball, it is a different story.  Every time I ask her to come and hit the ball with me, she does.  This still surprises me every time.  She a lot of the time is silent at first.  She warms up.  She complains when I shank the ball, She gets comfortable and finally will tell me about her day and the people in it.

I had always asked about her day before but she is just like me and doesn’t want to relive it at the time.  She just says it was ok.  Well, what does that mean?  Nothing really happened?  It was ordinary?

We need to connect with our kids in their way. With technology, we are losing the art of communication.  It used to be I just kept the music off during drives places and the silence would cause her to want to open up.  With her cel phone, she can be quiet for a few hours.

I had to learn to communicate with her on her terms.  I needed to let her know I am there for her at all times any time she wants to talk, I will listen in a non-judgemental way.  I want to know what is going on with her life without snooping through all of her stuff.

We like volleyball, what does your child like and want you to participate?  Wanna play?


Balance of being enough for your child

I am far from being a perfect mother.  I have struggles every day feeding her and keeping her away from technology.  When the balance between doing enough versus doing too much for your kid is what tethers my soul every day.

When your child doesn’t receive a good grade, does she request the teacher to give her another chance at taking the test?  Does she convince the teacher to make an exception for the answer because she didn’t quite understand and here’s her take on the question?

I have seen this happen in my dental school class over 25 years ago.  There were some brassy students who convinced the teachers that the anatomy of a tooth was really a #24 and not a 25.  I believe the professor just agreed with this particular pre-doctoral candidates to get them  off of his back but he agreed.  The doctor hopeful wanted to become an orthodontist and needed the grade to be at the top of the class ALL The Time.  It was annoying, disrespectful of authority and very discouraging to the rest of us, but it worked for this student.

My daughter took a test and thought she could go back and finish it because she needed to leave early for a school sports event.  She didn’t ask the teacher before it happened and made an assumption.  To her dismay, she wasn’t able to complete her exam and received a low but passing grade.  She wasn’t allowed to retake the test because the teacher stated if allowed for her to be an exception, it would be for everyone.  Her father and I did not get involved.  We chose not to get in this teacher’s business and accept the circumstances due to a lack of clarity on her part.  Although this particular teacher did allow other students to retake tests and move their grade up because they requested it.  Although this wasn’t fair, I was not going to be that parent and my daughter was not going to be that student that cried unfair.

She did work hard to get her grade to an “A” status and recently wrote a note to her stating how her habits were exceptional and how she could be anything she could be in her chosen career.  As a parent, this makes me proud.

When parents threaten things in order to get their child better grades or a spot on the team they did not earn, is this fair?  Is this fair to the rest of the students who understood the boundaries of the testing or try out?   What is in persuasion that it is permissible for children to wiggle around the rules?   Where is their standard going to be?

My question is, when and what is enough for your kid versus too much?  No one wants to see their child struggle but they need to build muscle in order to carve their mark into this world.  They need to develop courage on their own.  If they didn’t earn it, they didn’t earn it – let it go.

I am not going to rob my daughter of an opportunity to get what she deserves.  I don’t need to threaten, cajole or persuade someone in authority to circumvent the rules because she didn’t earn her opportunity.