I was talking to a friend about her daughter the other day. Seems the teenager has decided to slack off at practicing a sport this summer. She attends the daily practice but the coach informed Mom that very little work is being done these days. This child has an abundance of raw talent and potential, but success has not come because the teen hasn’t decided to do the hard work it takes to be the best. Other girls who, in years past, were not as talented are now eating her lunch.
I love what the Mom did in response. She charged her daughter for the cost of the summer lessons because the child had just been having fun the entire time, and told the athlete that if significant improvements were not made in a discreet amount of time, she was off the team and out of the sport for good.
Now, it’s up to the young lady. What will she do? She will decide who she’s going to be.
I get not wanting to waste your money on lessons. But what if this young lady has lost interest in this activity? I’ve seen it happen time and time again in my career, in which I work with young families. The phenomenon seems to be especially prevalent in affluent families and in the area of sports. Parents push kids to participate in an activity, and neglect to be emotionally present with their kids at a level that allows the child to say, “I really don’t enjoy this activity. I’d like to spend my time on something else.” Just because one has great aptitude does not mean one has a great desire to develop it. Teens deserve respect and autonomy, within the structure of a supportive and involved family. -Amy
Couldn’t agree more! I should have added that this teen was asked those kinds of questions and given lots of room to exit the sport. The parents are trying to help her line up her actions with her words.
I’m glad to hear that. I’ve seen quite a few kids who were a total mess because their parents wouldn’t even have that conversation with them. Thanks for clarifying!