Monday, July 16, 2012

Encouraging Your Kids to Try New Things

So this is a picture I took of me stalking my son. PLEASE allow me to explain!

So my kid is the one with the green backpack because his dad is out of town and could not make it home for the bike ride tonight like he really wanted to and if his dad had been home he could have gotten his crap together and made sure he had a water bottle holder mounted on his old gearless bike. I'm sure I could figure out how to ride a bike but don't have my own and also have other little ones to take care of so I did the drop-off thing and let the dads take over. You know this is hard for me because I'm one of those overbearing overprotective moms!

Today he also had his first Fencing class. Sometimes when new things come up he is reluctant to try them. I may have been guilty in the past of letting him stop doing things when he wanted to. I sucked at ballet/tap and I sucked at softball and so many other things. My parents made me at least TRY to do some different things but I never cared about them and didn't last long. I honestly believe some kids just are not cut out for uber-activity-world. Plus we live on the outskirts of Affluent Land where kids are always in activities. (sidenote: turns out I am EXCELLENT at carrying babies and giving birth with minimal painkillers ... my mom used to think I was such a wus, and now I feel like I can do anything physical ... I was perhaps a late bloomer!)

Anyway, lately I am trying to change my ways. I don't want to PUSH him to do things he HATES, but if he is merely reluctant, I am trying to jazz him up about things. Like fencing. Of course it would have been easier to stay home and play. But I got everyone around and we made it to Fencing. And he had a good time. He only has 5 more times and then can decide if he ever wants to do it again or if he wants to try something new. But all I ask is that he finish those other 5 sessions.

Tonight he didn't feel up to the 5-mile bike ride for Boy Scouts. I told him it would not take long and it would be so much fun to hang out with boys he is getting to know. Plus you get exercise. Plus you work on your Cycling badge. How great that will feel to accomplish that. That is not something I could probably even accomplish at my advanced age! (I have probably not worked out since ... well, hmmm ... let me thing ... oh, I know .... it was the 5K Aron and I walked when I was like 2 weeks PREGNANT with JOEL!). I'm sure we'll have the same discussion soon when the 10-mile ride comes up, and I will give him the pep talk of his life.

As we drove away, his little friend we have with us said, "They can't go on Antioch [busy street]; he won't survive!" I'm like, "Don't say that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" So I came right home and pulled up the email that had the route they would be taking and for a mom like me, that was like HEAVEN to have. I know where my baby is! I think when my kids are in their 40s I will be the same. My poor children.

So this picture is of me parked on the road waiting to see where the Troop was headed so I could get a shot of his bike ride. Thought he might like to see it someday, even if it is just from behind! It is also a good reminder for me that my kids are always riding away from me, every second of every day. It makes it that much more urgent for me to raise them well and to raise them to want to try new things.

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