Raising an Olympian…or Not

When our oldest child (who’s 19 now) was little, I signed him up for every sport and activity that you could name: basketball, soccer, piano lessons, computer camp. You name it, and we tried it at least once. I never made him repeat any activity that he didn’t like.   And believe me, there were plenty of them.

There were times when I came home from work and had to hunt him down to tell him several times to get ready for practice. I was rushing, but he had no sense of urgency. In fact, there were times when he said: “I don’t want to go.” And during those times, I reminded him that he was part of a team, he made a commitment, and that he could not let the team down. So when we finished the season and we did not go back…but we did not Quit.

Quitting was not an option for several reasons:

  • Because when you make a commitment, then you have to see it through.
  • Because success does not always come easy. If they are not winning right away or they are not the best on the team, then sometimes the kids want to quit. But they need to learn that you don’t always start at the top…sometimes you have to work your way there. I was determined to teach my 5 year old to ride her bike this summer. She pitched a fit..she wanted to put her training wheels back on because she could not ride right away. I tossed those training wheels and told her, that we were going to work on it every day until she got it. Guess what, she is riding that bike now and is as happy as a lark!!
  • Because practice makes perfect – that’s the motto at my home.
  • Because Mother knows best. I know when an experience will have great benefits for my kids. And so, in those instances I use the mommy trump card.
  • Because it feels so good to work hard for something and then attain it!! And I want my kids know that feeling.
  • Because if mommy paid money for it…you are doing it. You are not wasting my money. If you agreed to do it, and then I invested my money in it… then guess what…you’re doing it.

As my son got older, I started to understand that sports was not what he was passionate about. It was computers, science, and building things. And so I put him in classes…

Read more: Ronnie Tyler, Black and Married With Kids


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