I didn’t, by the way, because that would be seriously fucking mean.
However, I confess I had NO CLUE how to deal with Isaac, the fastest boy in his year, when he cried all the way through Sports Day today. It’s fucking frustrating as hell, because all I’ve heard for the last few weeks is how amazing he is, and how he wins all his races. Needless to say, I put no pressure on him (I’ve been there, it’s fucking shit), and this morning he was in amazing spirits and raring to go. We were all super excited for him.
He ran his first race, and won.
He ran his second race, got halfway, and suddenly became the most self-aware person on the planet. It was quite alarming to watch. He ran a bit further, then turned back to get his hat.
And then refused to run any more races, or do any more events.
It wasn’t until it was his team’s turn to go to the drinks station whereby he finally calmed down and planted a smile on his face.
I’ll be honest, I was gutted. Gutted for him because I knew he could do this, without any trouble at all, and gutted for me because I had no idea how to deal with it. I didn’t see it coming, at all. He wanted to go home, or at least, sit with me and The Mr rather than with all the other kids. Which was frustrating because I’m very keen on him not seeing us as an escape clause of some sort.
I can only assume he became overwhelmed with it all, but we tried to encourage him all the way, even while he still refused. I suspect other parents thought I was being super-evil heartless-bitch mom, but I couldn’t see any other way. I’d give him a quick cuddle and then guide him back to his seat with his team.
Maybe that’s the word which stuck in my head; “team”. I feel it’s important that he understands he must be able to work with other people, and that we don’t always have a choice whether we want to do something or not.
Or I’m just a bitch who doesn’t take crying and whining for an answer, and becomes adamant that the only way he’s going to learn to deal with shit, is to just do it.
(It’s both, to be honest, though the latter did come off slightly stronger in the debate in my head.)
He clearly wasn’t damaged by it, as, after I won the Parent Bug Race (yes, parents on hands and feet, arses in the air, racing to the finish line), he was happy as Larry, pulling his usual silly faces, and perfectly happy to collect his certificate.
Oh the irony.
I did ask him why he didn’t want to race, and he replied it was because he “couldn’t remember things”. Which I thought was a bit bizarre.
I’m actually pretty certain I know why he didn’t want to race, but dealing with it is a different matter. I’ve seen other parents deal with it, but I know not everyone’s ways will work for others. It’s so bizarre that I spent so much of my previous job successfully teaching people to have confidence and just go for it, and yet I can’t do it with my own kiddo.
That sucks. I really want to help him without everyone having meltdowns. Bah.
Maybe I’ll just tell him to get over himself.
You know what Maybe he just didn't want to do it. Maybe he just wanted to hang with you instead. To feel safe and confident in front of all his friends, whilst proudly displaying that you are his mum.
When you are 4, that can be way more important than running a race.
My youngest boy is like that. He joins in when it's a group think but when the focus is on him he point blank refuses. He's only 4 too & I try to make him confident. He is confident in everything else making friends, etc but when he's the goose in duck duck goose he turns to a shy, stubborn boy. I'm hoping it'll come & just a maturity thing x
Aww, so frustrating for you. My boy is just 8 and only gaining confidence now…and in a strange way I miss his need to run to me for support (cue for bad mum syndrome) but am really glad that he's finally come into his own and is gaining more independence. Sometimes guess you just have to let them grow (and blossom) at their own speed perhaps. You can water them and nourish them, but you can't force them to grow, just be there to guide and support (though how you do that exactly is another big debate!).
I can so identify with not wanting to distract them or let them see you as a "get out of jail free" card – I spent years hiding behind pillars and corners trying to see how J was getting on without him seeing me.
Still, he took part in a race and won it, which, at four, is still pretty fantastic.