Good Days, Tough Days
Today was a great day! While Amelia took the kids to Chinese school this morning, I spent the morning working on some work for a course I’m doing. Time to work and think. When they came home, we relaxed and each did our own thing for lunch. The weather was perfect so of course the boys wanted to play outside. Amelia and Natalie went to a birthday party and boys and I stayed home and played in the yard.
That is when the good day turned into a tough day.
The boys like to create new games. Most times they are based on some other game and they just make up their own rules to match. Today is was a twist on tennis. Of course, I had to unlearn the rules of tennis. The issues started occurring because the rules were not clear to everyone. Matthew was referring the game and calling the shots. That drove Andrew crazy. Once we figured out the rules, everything started to go well again. The score between Andrew and I started to climb and the lead went back and forth between us. At one point when Andrew realized that the game was going to end too soon because he was getting ahead, he purposely let me get a point. I caught it right away and let him know that I was not willing to play like that.
I have always made it a point with my kids, especially Andrew, that I am not going to take it easy or play weak because I am older and bigger. They never back down from a sport challenge at school and I expect the same at home. I explain to them that the only way they will get better is to play harder and learn from their mistakes. Both of them are well rounded athletes and it always amazes me when I see them compete. Soccer, running, swimming, water polo, whatever. They are always near the top of their group.
As the game neared the end and the score was tied, Andrew simply would allow any of my points. I made it clear to him each time that I was following HIS rules and he would simply come up with a reason that my points didn’t count. You see, he is very competitive and at school he is often on the winning side. However, when he is on the losing side he never has tantrums or gets upset. At home, between myself or Matthew, he often loses it very easily. I have been trying to understand why he has this two-sided view of sports. Gracious at school, not so gracious at home.
When it was simply too much to handle, I stopped the game and had him sit on the step to figure out why he was having trouble with it. He never did figure it out (he is only 8), so I explained again the need to be a good sport. Be happy when you win, but do not get upset when you lose. Learn from it. Use it as inspiration to do better next time. I also explained again that I did not take it easy on him (eventhough I did of course – otherwise I would be paying for it tomorrow), so that he would need to be challenged and thus become better. He seemed to understand, but who knows for sure (he is only 8).
Anyway, after dinner, we went out again and we played catch and he worked hard and learned some new things. It turned out great.
I look forward to the day when I don’t have to take it easy and they beat me fair and square. They already do it with strategy games.