Monday, November 4, 2013

Are You Holding Your Children Back?

Are you holding your child back?
Your immediate response will most likely be "NO! Of course not," but really think about it. Today as Leilani and I walked into a new park and she saw all the basketball courts she immediately said she wanted to play but since she didn't have a ball-and most the other people on the court were older boys- she couldn't.

We made our way over to the jungle gym where she played for a few minutes all the while telling me she wanted to go on the court because "basketball is my favorite sport." Out of nowhere as if the universe heard her request a lone ball rolled over right onto her feet.

"MOMMY! I got a ball and it says 'girl's ball'. Lets play!" she excitedly proclaimed. We played on the side of the jungle gym for a moment and every so often she would say "I'm ready for the court" and I would give some answer as to how she wasn't.

After taking a short break I look up and see little miss Leilani on the basketball court, the ONLY girl on the basketball court, and the youngest one out there dribbling and trying to sink the ball into the basket.

At that moment I realized I was holding her back. I was scared some boy would accidently land on her, or take her ball, or make fun of her; I used these fears as a way to hold her back. Leilani wasn't scared or worried at all she was ready. I watched in amazement as the little pink dot weaved in and out of the "big boys" playing basketball, kept trying to get the ball into the hoop, and maintained a smile on her face while doing so.

As parents we want to protect our children and push our children to reach new goals but we must remember not to let our fears or pride interfere with their ability to push themselves and reach new goals on their own. It's nerve-wrecking but it's worth it.