Saturday, July 8

Little Fish in the Big Pond

Little Chic is a team-type girl. If you can play it, join it, sign up for it or compete in it, Little Chic is the first participant. Today Little Chic played her first soccer tournament. She has been playing recreational soccer since she was four, but due to our steadfast determination not to drag the family all over creation, we've declined opportunities to play competitively at this point. Since recreational leagues don't generally participate in tournaments, this was a new experience.

Little Chic is used to being on the best team in her current league. She has had the same coach for four years, he plays competitively himself and is the varsity coach for our high school team. The consistent coaching combined with playing with the same teammates every season has turned her team into one with decent skills for their ages and experience. As a result, Little Chic's team generally wins their games easily. However playing against traveling teams, even with players of the same age, is a whole different level of competition. In her words today "we got crushed." She seemed to take it all in stride, other than the fact that Hero Guy had trouble not heckling from the sidelines. Despite the close bond between she and he, Little Chic has very little tolerance for 'dad-style' coaching. Shouts of "hustle", "push up" and "get moving" meet with scowls, protests and responses like "DAD, I AM TRYING" and him returning "You're not trying hard enough." I, on the other hand, realize that dad's motivation tactics are an irritant for Little Chic, so I attempt to direct him into encouraging her (like ignoring the mistakes and only pointing out the good plays) rather than criticizing. Then I begin trying to unruffle the feathers sticking up on the back of Little Chic's neck. My efforts don't work on either of them. Hero Guy thinks I'm not being blunt enough and Little Chic realizes I'm covering up for Dad.

It's a good lesson in balance. If you're familiar with James Dobson from Focus on the Family, he makes the point that God creates kids to need the firmness of Dad's manner combined with the nurturing of Mom's and that's what creates kids that are balanced and emotionally healthy. It's a good exercise in faith, working on my own relationship with the kids and letting Hero Guy interact in his own dad-ish way, trusting that God is keeping tabs on the situation and guiding both of us to be the kind of parents He made us to be.

2 of Your THINKS:

Paula said...

It's amazing what two loving parents can do for their children. Thank goodness God created us the way He did, to balance each other out. She's a cutie!

Pass The Torch said...

It is so hard to watch your child's team struggle, though, isn't it? My son's team last year was very talented. This year - definitely not. We all learned a lot this year about focusing on what's supposed to be the "point". I think sometimes we get more from our losses than our wins.