Too much stress. This became a recurring theme in our lives. We were running around way too much.
We didn't seem like the kind of family who could handle it. One day Kayla began crying during a soccer practice. She was four. That's right, four. Unfortunately, I got angry and took it out on both girls. I said things like “You two can sit in your rooms doing nothing for the rest of your lives if you want to.”
Cringe. BIG time.
After speaking to Adam, and realizing how cruel I was, I apologized to them. They were little kids who were obviously doing too much. Or maybe they were being coerced into participating in activities way before they were ready or willing. Because...um, Kayla was four. I vaguely remember talking to the coach, and eventually taking Kayla out of soccer. It's not quitting if she wasn't the one who originally committed to being on the team in the first place.
I also spoke to Weeze and Dad about our little dilemma. I realized that our girls didn't ask to join any of these sports, I signed them up. When they were home, they were always busy doing creative, artsy things. So why was I pushing them, when they showed no interest? I only wanted them to be happy, healthy, self assured kids.
Throughout her high school years, and I can say this because, Jordan has graduated :) we still ran into similar issues. If Jordan spread herself too thin (which she tended to do between academics, clubs, dance, musicals, Chambers, therapy. a social life, and, if any time was left, sleep), the crap would slam right into the metaphorical fan.
A major difference was, Jordan-the-teenager, construed our suggesting that she pull back, as a punishment, as a lack of faith in her abilities. In her mind, we were telling her loudly and clearly, how much we believed her to be incapable of achieving success. Many of her friends were taking AP classes. Why did we think she couldn't handle them? Some of her friends appeared to take on everything that was offered. Well, except sleep. I still have no idea how some were able to cope and survive.
We as adults, have the advantage of being able to see the big picture. We realize that our kids will still have successful lives, even without taking five AP classes in one year. That being said, if Jordan didn't work her tail off in high school, and if she had listened to us each time we pleaded with her to stop studying and go to bed, who knows if she would have been awarded the merit scholarship that she did. Ultimately, this is the reason she can attend Arcadia.
Maybe the picture Adam and I were seeing, wasn't quite as big as we thought it was. Huh.
So our concerns, our adult-like-pleas and attempts to help avoid another tumultuous crisis, were misconstrued. Our intentions were good. We were trying to guide and protect her. But as we all know, the older they get, the more we have to let our children make their own choices. This holds true even if it's scary, and risky, and you're positive that your way would be better.