Monday, October 21, 2013

taking on new challenges. often called parenting.


When we moved one year ago, we wanted to make it the best possible experience for our kids.  We wanted to give them every opportunity to make friends, go to good schools, and continue with the sports and activities they love.  Husband and I felt we had to walk a fine line though, as we wanted to be encouraging, while trying not to pressure them into uncomfortable social situations when they weren't ready.  Kids at these middle school ages are already so bombarded with peer pressure that we didn't want to add to the demands.  It's quite the change, to move from one place where you had tons of really good friends into a place where you know no none.  I'm the mom and I even had a tough time with it.  I sympathized to a point that I didn't do enough encouraging, I think.  My attitude with the kids was pretty much like, "okay, you feel more comfortable hanging out at home than with friends or being the new kid on the basketball team.  Me too.  So let's just stay home."  It took me a while to venture out into our new town and as the role model, that's what my kids saw and so at least one of them was bound to follow suit.  Elyssa handled the transition well because she was in college and enrolled in activities and clubs right from the start.  McKenna is a social being by nature and still young enough to make friends easily, so she transitioned fairly easily as well.  But Mr. Jack, an eighth grader, anxious by nature, didn't have such an easy transition.  Or I should say, he was slower to adapt.  He did really well, don't get me wrong.  His grades were awesome and he was making friends, but he was also still hanging on to his past.  He missed his comfortable, not-new Spokane life.  I felt for that kid.  Not only that, but he lost interest in basketball {the one sport he loved} and video games took over.  Being the sympathetic mom, I let it happen.  I let him do what made him comfortable, as long as he kept up his grades and schoolwork.
The thing about that plan though, was all the sitting and the snacking.  Video games just don't seem to encourage movement for some reason.  Duh.  It just wasn't healthy.  I'm the mom and I was letting my shy kid hide inside the house and be lazy.  It was frustrating.  It wasn't working.  How was I helping a boy find his confidence by allowing him to live like this?  I wasn't.  I screwed up.  And so I tried to encourage him to invite friends over.  Nope.  I tried to encourage him to sign up for activities.  One club, one day a week.  I even tried to threaten him to choose a physical activity or I would do it for him.  Um, no.  And then one day he said he'd like to work out at the gym.  At first I was skeptical.  Gym membership isn't cheap and will he stick it out?  Or will I be fighting to get him there regularly?  But that boy threw me a bone, and it would have been stupid not to take it.  He was offering an idea and it was his own and it felt like a small miracle.
We are working out together now, mother and son.  Why didn't I think of this before?  So far it has been wonderful.  We are both putting ourselves out there, getting healthy and working hard.  I love his company and I get the impression that he might like mine too.  :)  I'm feeling like a good parent again.  To see his confidence go up, with every new achievement, that's the stuff of goodness.

Admitting we are wrong sometimes allows us the opportunity to get it right.  :)



10 comments:

  1. this is awesome. My husband and I have started working out (I gained 15 pounds since marriage! whaaaaaaaa?) but we are kinda terrible at keeping up with it.

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    Replies
    1. Why does it have to be so easy to put on weight and so difficult to take it off? Weight frustrates me and I try not to keep track. :)

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  2. that is great.. that you found a way to spend time together..

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    Replies
    1. Yes, it's a good time with that boy! :)

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  3. Replies
    1. Well, yes I am. Since we go at 2:30 I already have makeup on for the day and I'm not going to wash it off before I go. Honestly though, I just feel like I'm doing everyone a favor by putting some on, no matter what. :)

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  4. What are great idea! Love this! Enjoy your workouts!
    xo,
    Jacqueline

    stylininstlouis.com

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! Hopefully we keep positive! This is supposed to be fun, right?

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  5. love this post! P and I need to take a lesson from you and Jack!

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    Replies
    1. What are you talking about??? You motivate me!!!

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