Natalie mentioned in her blog today that she wishes that she had run in high school as her gymnastics coach had encouraged.
While I ran on Sunday, I was thinking about the same thing - how would my life have been different if I had run track my freshman year as I had wanted to. Unfortunately, that year I was grounded from the world from January until spring because of the sneaking-out incident. So, I was barred from track that year and just never bothered again. Would I have stuck with it if I had joined the team? Could I have kicked ass at the hurdles (the way I did in my mind's eye)? Would the stronger/thinner/faster/smarter/taller endorphin high have helped me actually buckle down and learn something in high school instead of worrying mainly about boys? Would I have appreciated the nice boys who liked me instead of pursuing the "bad" ones? I don't know. If the running and discipline did not create a character change, it is likely that I would have just given it up. I was pretty darn shallow then and had no perspective. I like to think that I was a larva (or a pod person) - lacking in actual human qualities.
So, in light of the spitting incidents and nastiness at school, I am wondering how we can instill empathy, consideration and perspective in the girls so that they aren't like larva. So far, we are still working with the "we control you" system that I mentioned last week, with a little "Santa is watching you" thrown in for good measure. I don't know where to begin to bridge the transition from "we control you" to "you are a good human who can make choices." Doug insists that team sports are a good first step. So, even if Annika and Dagny are REALLY DARN BAD, they will still do the sports. We will just have to think of some other thing to deny them or make them do for punishment.
By the way, my sister mentioned to me that a call from Santa might not be a bad idea for the unruly kid - a "I hear that you might not be acting like a good girl all of the time - better shape up" call. We haven't resorted to that, but it is definitely an option.