Did I push my daughter to do things too young?


Laurie Gelman

posted in Mom Stories

My daughter is 13 and having the summer of her life. She is playing tennis, taking surf lessons and hanging out with new friends. In short she is having the summer I have tried to make her have for the past 8 years.

As we enter the teen years with number one, I’m realizing that DH and I were WAY too excited about having our first born try new things. I mean, we gave her a bike for her 3rd birthday for goodness sake. By the time she was 5 she had been in gymnastics, ballet, Italian lessons, tennis, Gymboree, piano and God know what else. I think I’ve blocked it out because they were all such epic fails. The one thing we made her stick with was tennis, and she hated every second of it. When she was 10 she hung up her racket and said she never wanted to play again.

Jamie has always been a bit of a late bloomer. You know those kids who go to birthday parties in pre school and just walk right in and join the fun? That was not my girl. She spent just about every birthday party until she was 7 sitting on my lap and watching.

Three years ago I signed her up for surf lessons. She hated it. She didn’t like the kids, the instructor was mean, the water was too cold and full of jellyfish blah blah blah.

I’m painting a portrait of an ungrateful child and really, she isn’t. She never asked for any of the stuff we made her do. We wanted her to do it but she just wasn’t there yet.

So, back to this summer, out of nowhere she asked for surf lessons. I didn’t know what to say. It was like seeing a unicorn. I didn’t want to spook her by jumping up and down and screaming hurray! I just quietly signed her up  and guess what? She loves it. She also  asked to play tennis AND she made a new friend who she is hanging out with. She is having a great summer mainly because she is finally ready to.

We should have been more patient.

Have you made your kids try things before they were ready?


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