Thursday, May 29, 2008

Princess Diaries - Proud Daddy

Ever since my time as the sports editor at the Niles Daily Star, covering a lot of little league baseball and softball games, I've told myself I would never be like some of the crazy parents I saw at those games. Some of them literally have lost touch with reality, convincing themselves their children are the greatest athletes in the world.
Let me first say I understand how you could get to that point. I think my kids are the most amazing, smart, cute, funny, talented kids I've ever known - because I love them so much. But, I can also be objective and see that some other kids may be better than them at certain things.
Hanah, who turns 6 tomorrow, has not started playing any organized sports yet, so I haven't really had to deal with my own reactions - until last night. She had an awards night for her Wednesday night class at church. She won two awards (pictured above) - the Christlike Attitude Award and a gold medal for finishing her whole workbook. I am so proud of her.
As part of the program all the kids went to the front of the room and sang the songs they learned, complete with motions. Hanah did well, but I can honestly say there were some other kids who performed better than she did. That doesn't mean I think they are better than her - I just know she could have done better.
So now I find myself trying to balance two extremes: Crazy, unrealistic praise and Crazy, unrealistic expectations. I hope I never push my children too hard, but I also hope I never give them credit they don't deserve. I want to always stay objective about my children's abilities, and I always want them to know I love them and am proud of them.
Since this will be our last summer at the lake, we have no plans for anything this summer other than enjoying being outside. Thank goodness, I'm not sure I'm ready for Hanah to start playing sports!

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