Tuesday, June 23, 2009

decisions, decisions, decisions

for about three weeks now, andrew has been counting down the days until soccer camp. if you've seen or spoken to him over the past month, he's probably told you about going to soccer camp.

on sunday night he was so excited he said he couldn't sleep! yesterday, we headed to the soccer fields, where he was given a brand new soccer ball. he could hardly stand it! well, shortly after the "new ball excitement" wore off, and the kids were split up into groups, he decided he wasn't so sure about this soccer thing. understanding that it is very much like andrew to shy away from activities once he's made to be part of a group, i took many deep breaths and tried to work with him, rather than fight him on his decision to not participate. luckily, jacob is for the most part a chill baby, so he was ok in the stroller with minimal attention. for 1 1/2 hours, i played soccer alongside ten 4 & 5 year olds, and the coach. of course, i was questioning the whole time whether this was the right thing to do. i figured if andrew was ok with it, then it was a good idea. he wasn't fully participating, and i heard a lot of "this is stupid. i'm bored. etc" but we made it through the whole camp. on the way home, he told me he didn't want to go back to soccer camp tomorrow because it's stupid.
you can imagine my surprise when he told both derek and my sister what a great time he had at camp. "we kicked the ball...i scored goals...it was fun." WHAAAAAAAATTTTTT?!??! ok, so maybe he did like it...let's try again tomorrow, i thought.

how'd today go you ask? let's just say, not so good! andrew flat out refused to participate when we reached the field. he threw a big ol' fit about how it was stupid, he didn't want to do it and he just wanted to go home. at one point, when i didn't seem to be moving, he said "i guess you didn't hear me. i said i wanted to go home RIGHT NOW!" i told him we were not leaving and that if he just wanted to sit and watch the other kids that was fine. internally, i was struggling...do we just leave? do we stick it out? do i ignore it? do i force the issue? eventually i decided we'd leave, but before doing so, i tried figuring out why andrew didn't want to play soccer. from our brief conversation, i gather that this is not what he expected soccer camp to be like. he thought they'd all just be playing soccer, not learning and doing new things. at one point, i said something along the lines of "andrew, i'm sorry this isn't fun for you. it makes mommy sad that you were so excited about soccer and now you don't want to do it." he looked up at me and said, "well, i'm sorry you feel that way mommy." that's when i decided it was time to leave, but again, my stomach was (it still is!) in knots. where do we go from here with this? i don't want to punish him, by forcing him to go...i don't want to let him make the rules by deciding he's not going...i don't know what we'll do tomorrow! after thinking about this all day, i think i'll explain to him that this is what we have planned for this week. we will be going each morning and each day he can decide to participate or sit on the sidelines. i'll just have to take lots of deep breaths!!!
any suggestions?!?!?!


Rebecca said...

I think that is a great plan - to go and allow him to choose to watch or participate. That is what I did w/ my preschoolers when they changed their mind about something.
Teaching him to finish what he starts is important and I applaud you for doing so!
Hang in there!

staci said...

Hang in there. Deep breaths sound good. I really like your plan - good luck pulling it off. I know it's always easier said than done. But it sounds like a good compromise. Any chance Derek and Leigh can talk to him again to see what he says about it now? Wish I could offer better advice.
Just remember, you're such a great mom. No one decision you make will cause much harm. I love you cuz!!

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