Here's an example of what not to say to your sixth grade daughter: “That’s great. Why play basketball at all then?!” Yeah... cringe.
Here’s how it went down. Jordan’s team was in a tournament and they played four games. She was one of the few who played in only two of the four. She complained about this, and also informed us that she sits during most practice scrimmages.
I was torn. I understood that a travel team was more competitive, that they wanted to win, and that by playing the skilled girls, there was a better chance of that happening. That being said, the coaches chose not to cut any girls from this team. And aren’t the less aggressive girls the ones who would benefit from more play time in the scrimmages?
We began a conversation, and frustrations were running high. It probably doesn’t need to be said, but when a mother and daughter are both frustrated before a conversation even begins, it’s probably better to postpone the dialog. We didn’t do that.
I informed her of the possibility that the situation could change, if she got four or five baskets per game (which is ridiculously cringe-worthy). She proceeded to scream "I CAN’T!!”. This statement makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, hence my lovely comment asking why she even played the sport.
You know, the more I write Us Too, the more clear it becomes that maybe I was the difficult one, the one who tended to elevate the issues. I think we all have certain expectations regarding our kids, whether we admit to this or not. It comes from a place of pure love. The thing is, it’s not until they get older that we realize what little influence we actually had on them. Maybe life would have been a little easier if we had allowed them to be their true selves when they were younger.
Huh. I think I just confused myself.