Like many other little girls, I spent a brief moment of my childhood enveloped in the world of tutus and ballet shoes. I recall the early days of joyfully jumping over fake puddles and not worrying about technique or having any real skill. Then, I started taking classes with a serious instructor, a strict disciplinary with a thick Russian accent and no time for foolishness.
That wasn’t me. I had no desire to train hard and suffer through endless criticism. I also wasn’t all that good, which may be why when I said I wanted to quit, my parents didn’t put up a fight. And, when the teacher questioned my decision, and wondered why my mom wasn’t forcing me to continue, my mom just shrugged it off.
I went on to attempt many activities from gymnastics to ice skating to piano. Some lasted a few years, others barely a few weeks. My skills in each varies from decent to not terrible, but no matter how well I did, I was never pushed to continue if I wanted to stop.
I am so appreciative of my parents for not pressuring me to keep doing something I didn’t love. I had to prove nothing to no one. I could just be a kid.
I always thought I would model this example as a parent. I would let my children try many things, and be ok if they want to stop. I wouldn’t be a “tiger mom” pushing my kids to succeed at all costs.
Yet, I find myself close to doing exactly that. Continue reading