the words of tim walker

changing the rules

image courtesy of flickr.com/creative commons/by Unlisted Sightings
image courtesy of flickr.com/creative commons/by Unlisted Sightings

when it comes to parenting, be careful what judgments you make about how parenting should be done.
those judgments may come back to bite you.

i remember when my kids were younger, I would watch parents with older kids running to and from their kids’ different sporting events and activities.
i thought, i’ll never do that. that much chaos isn’t good for a family.
and so my wife and i made a rule—only one of our three boys would be able to be involved in a sport during a particular season. that way, the rest of the family could be there to support that one kid.

it worked out great initially.
the sports each kid wanted to play were in different seasons, so there wasn’t a conflict.
or they were more interested in playing with their friends in the cul-de-sac than they were playing in an organized league.

but then they all started liking the same sports.
sports that were in the same season.
and it came down to a decision.

do we hold fast and true to a rule that while seeming to emphasize family time, may have had more to do with our convenience and comfort?
or do we adjust and give in to the desires of our kids?

so the rule lost.

there wasn’t a single ounce of “stage/sideline parent” in us. there were no unfulfilled sport dreams we were trying to live out through our kids. we’re not sports people.

but i have three boys who love sports the way i love superheroes.
they wake up and watch espn. i wonder why we’re not watching cartoons.

and eventually their love of sports won.

there are some parenting rules you guard, fight for even.
but this wasn’t one of them.

so that’s why we’re spending most of our time in the car these days, running to and from one field to another.
our schedule is crazy, and we’re constantly working out logistics.

but my kids are having fun, making friends, enjoying being “athletic.”
my wife and i are just trying to sort out what’s going on out on the field. beyond who won/who lost, i’m not sure i’ll ever fully understand it.

but that’s okay. they love it.

this is a season in our parenting lives, a busy one. not changing diapers busy or keeping kids away from electrical sockets busy.
but busy, nonetheless.
and our old rule worked fine for a season . . . just not for this one.

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One thought on “changing the rules

  1. Great post! I often, jokingly, say that I want to make a list of all the random things I profess that I will or won’t allow my children to do (when I have children), or what I will or won’t do for my children. I imagine my list will be hilarious when I find myself adjusting, breaking or ignoring those rules. LOTI

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