Trust their Instincts
Sheriauna trained with an awesome track club about 3 or 4 years ago at her request but she also made the decision to step away indefinitely due to feeling to much pressure during competitive races. She was also competing as a dancer so it became a lot for her. Both her Dad and I were disappointed because we saw the potential. Her coaches saw the potential but they encouraged us to follow her lead and see what happens. We made a deal with her that she would finish out the rest of the spring season she committed to but she would not continue into the summer. At first, we would ask her periodically if she wanted to return to track but we made a decision to no longer ask because we did not want her to do it for us. We both agreed that we would only revisit track if it was something SHE initiated and wanted to do.
About 1 year ago Sheriauna came to me and asked about getting back into track just to practice with the team; I did inquire and discussed the information with her. We didn’t enroll her immediately because we were not sure if she was ready to fully commit. This past spring Sheriauna asked again about joining a track club so this time I contacted the club we were referred to for elementary students and spoke with the head coach and owner of the club. Sheriauna observed her first practice and by the end of it she was itching to get on the track to run with the group. She has been committed to attending practices, applying the feedback from her coaches and preparing for summer meets as part of her development. Sheriauna has been setting her goals with intention and is reaching those goals one step at a time. These small steps towards improving her skills, developing friendships, and being encouraged by very supportive coaches has helped to increase her enthusiasm and interest in the sport.
The lesson for us as parents was, and still is, although we see so much potential for success in our children, sometimes they do not see it in themselves.
“We cannot control our children. We can only create the conditions for them to rise. What this means is that we need to stop expending our energy on trying to control who they are and how they turn out in the future.” (Shefali Tsabary, The Awakened Family: A Revolution in Parenting)
No matter how much we plan and push…sorry I mean guide…our children to do something that we believe is good for them, we cannot control the outcome. Something that they love and enjoy now may not be the same thing they enjoy as a teenager, or an adult. Why? They are kids! If we as adults on average change careers several times during our adult lives why would we expect our children to stick to only one thing? Some children find their love and passion for something and that drives them. Some children explore several interests and their search is what propels them to discover who they are and what they love. Freedom to discover in whatever form that takes for you and them is a privilege that can lead to understanding what makes them who they are. When we let our children explore and discover what they enjoy over time, with safe boundaries, they will find their way and come into their own.
Source: Tsabary, Shefali. (2016). The Awakened Family, A Revolution in Parenting. New York, USA; Viking Publishing.