Don’t you hate it when a valuable teaching moment presents itself so forcefully that it’s completely impossible to ignore it?
Personally I’m a big proponent of the path of least resistance. Unfortunately I’ve read enough parenting books and had enough conversations with perfect parents who have all the answers to know that my children won’t thank me for my lackadaisical attitude when they’re struggling through their unproductive lives as dysfunctional, semi-evolved adults.
So, when Hoss came out of gymnastics the other day and said he hates it and wants to quit, my immediate reaction was ‘tough titties, you’ve made a commitment and you have to see this through’.
Apart from anything, it’s embarrassing – my children have been dropping out of programs at that gym since Roxy was 3.
Now this is a slight digression, but what she did there when she was 3 was gymnastics-playschool. One hour in the classroom and one hour in the gym – genius! I believe both my sons would be model students if only we’d been able to carry that concept through grade school.
Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, between competitive artistic gymnastics, competitive trampoline and tumbling and the demo team, the three of them have pretty much tried and dropped out of it all.
Well enough! I’m ready to take a stand … or am I?
After that moment of masterful assertion, the voice of reason presented itself. I realized that I could save myself over 300 sorely missed dollars every month, and I would be freed from the commitment of having to drive to the gym four evenings a week. I could use all that extra time to go out and spend the $300.
Let’s balance the pros and cons of mandatory gymnastics for a moment, shall we? On the one hand, I get to devote four evenings a week dragging a miserable, whining 14-year old to the gym; and I save myself the hassle of deciding how to allocate the spending of that $300.
On the other hand, Hoss undoubtedly learns a valuable life lesson which will cause him to develop into a highly motivated, driven achiever.
Well sod it – when he’s still in my basement at the age of 36, playing video games and shouting at me for snacks, I’ll use all the money I saved for joint therapy.