Thursday, January 26, 2012

To Push or Not To Push

Loving the sky

My Jack.

I love my Jack.

He is smart, with an almost photographic memory. He has a quick wit and a keen eye for detail.

He is also stubborn. His own worst critic. Set in his ways (he's 10, I know you think this is not possible however, anyone who knows Jack completely understands what I am talking about).

He is, in so many ways, like me, (except for that memory thing, that comes straight from his grandaddy).

He challenges me daily. I go from feeling like I know him and how to be the best mother to him, to feeling like I am failing him and not giving him what he needs.

He is a good kid. I know this.

His first reaction to being presented with the opportunity to try something new, is no, absolutely not.

I don't get this on any level. I understand this is how he is made, that he can't really change it about himself. However, I cannot relate. Me, who this year, at age 37, has waterskiied, speed skated and snowboarded - all for the first time in my life.

The thing is, when we force him to try new things (except food, a whole other post, trust me) he likes whatever it might be nine times out of ten.

So do we push him every time?

(I literally don't have the energy)

Or do we let him choose?

I don't have the answer. Nor do I expect that anyone else does. I will keep flying by the seat of my pants on a wing and a prayer and hope the therapy bills (his and mine) don't rob us of our retirement savings.

PS. before you judge me for putting this out there on the Internet, I just want to clarify that I have conversations with him all the time about this very issue. None of this is anything I wouldn't say to him. But if you must judge, go for it, turnabout is fair play.


vikkiscrappygal said...

you will get no judgment from me. We have the same problem with our son. I worry about his social skills . He has a really hard time with other kids . Hang in there.

Cheryl said...

tough call my friend! Tim was never "pushed" to do any sports etc...and he wishes his parents had pushed harder. He is now learning to skate, while all his friends play pick up hockey like 2nd nature..but I';m sure at the time, he was a typical little stubborn boy and the word no was the immediate reaction.
I wish I knew how to help you..just know you are a wonderful mom...and Jack will do and become exactly who he is destined to become..with your support :)

Angella said...

No judging! Just friends here listening to you work out this crazy maze of parenthood.

I think you're doing a fantastic job. Push when you can, and leave it at that. Pick your battles, etc.


Mrs. Wilson said...

That does sound frustrating. I know nothing about 10-year-old boys, but Kaylie sure thinks Jack is cool, so you're doing something right. ;)

Ashley said...

Groan, I totally know where you both are coming from! Bethany is like that, she wails, sobs and repeats over and over "I can't do it" before she even tries. I try my best to encourage, push when necessary, give in to that when I should and all the other things I'm supposed to do. But most often I end up frustrated or mad. JUST DO IT! I never ask our girls to do something I think they are uncapable of doing, but I do want them to try things that are a challenge. It's important.

I get where Jack/Bethany are coming from too. While I love a challenge and love to push for my best, I hate change. I hate to try new things, I'm petrified of failure and so I hear that little "I can't" voice in my own head too. It's just somehow, and I can't remember how, I learned to suffocate it. Maybe it's with my inner pillow and upper body strength I dunno.

No judgement Kami. This parenting haul is hard, it's tricky and no matter what happens you are a great Mom. You're who He needs, always.

Anonymous said...

No judgement from me, either. I know this parenting gig is hard work and we are all just trying to do our best! Sometimes we have found that we needed to "push" our boys, but it's knowing the amount of pushing that is okay and the amount that isn't. I guess it's more "encouragement" than pushing, but it can feel like hard work sometimes! You'll get there, and so will Jack. Hugs!

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

There IS no right answer! Doesn't that suck? Good luck with him. All kids are their own wonderful mess for us parents to figure out...