Dedicated to my late dad on his birthday.
My sons were both encouraged to sign up for sports and other interests they thought might be interesting. The older one preferred to achieve his personal best in track and cross-country, while the younger enjoyed competing on a team, including basketball and baseball.
In the early years, I was a full-time mom. Even so, I needed help when one boy had something going on at one setting while the other needed to show up across town. My folks were a huge help. Later, as a personal contractor doing medicial transcription online, I was able to set my own schedule and attend my kids’ sporting events, which were usually in different seasons.
One beautiful, sunny day I sat watching and cheering the 7th grade baseball game, in my comfortable outdoor chair with my waterbottle at hand. My parents joined me after the first couple innings. They set up next to me. We followed the game, appreciated the sunny spring day, and visited.
My dad smiled at me and said, “You really enjoy being here, huh?”
I agreed, “Yes, I do! Nowhere else I need to be or should be.”
I hadn’t given it much thought before, but it’s so true. Whether or not your child admits it, they love having you attend their games and events. Don’t think it’s a big deal? Talk to someone whose parents didn’t. So, whatever you have to do to arrange it, show up for some, even a few, if not all. They may profess embarrassment, as young teenagers are wont to do, and you might not get any feedback from your son or daughter.
As a teacher, parent, and parent educator, I can assure you the number one commodity your child needs from you is attention, whether they realize it or not. Attending games, events, recitals, concerts, and ceremonies is a wonderful way to provide healthy, positive attention. These are opportunities to expect sportsmanship, reinforce a healthy lifestyle, and show the importance of family time. You will model appropriate competition behavior by not going negative on the other team or arguing with a referee or umpire.
A few weeks after that baseball game, I sat on the grassy bank at the edge of a field for my other son’s track meet. Another mom sat nearby and we talked a bit about who our kids are, what school they attend, and the individual events in which they’d compete.
She said, “I just love this!”
I answered, “Me, too! There’s nowhere else I’d rather be or should be.”
“I know, right?”
“We’re good moms! just sitting here doing nothing!”
Batter up! – Go watch your kids explore their interests.
Sara’s education and experience: B.A. Ed; M.S. Counseling; teacher grades K & 2/3, educator for childcare providers, training in Positive Discipline and Growing, parent educator, program director of crisis nursery, including parent support, staff management & training, stay home mom 16 years with two sons born 19 months apart, medical transcription for 10 years in order to stay home, substitute teacher grades K through 12. Blogs about a wide variety of topics on survivingsara.net.