Friday, December 08, 2006

A Different Life

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.

10 comments:

Nat said...

I totally call Santa all the time when Beau is naughty. Nothing changes behavior faster than me whipping out my cell and start punching numbers. I use this not only at Christmas but all year long. Very effective.
I agree with Dougles and the sports. It will also build confidence, or so they say. My thinking at the very least is that a fit person will have less body image problems. I know I did until I hit college and quit sports for drinking and then gained some body image problems along with some pounds. Running has helped me lose both since then.

I recommend swimming since it conditions the whole body and will help prepare them strength wise and endurance wise for any later sports endeavor.

I am hoping to get Beau into martial arts to work on discpline. But both my kids will do swim team.

Steph Bachman said...

I loved the swim team - Annika gets to start this summer on the pre-team! I think I'm actually a better swimmer than a runner (it's the shoulders). The only problem for Annika will be her eczema but I'm hoping that maybe it will just go away.

My thinking is the same as yours on the body image and confidence (and thus not accepting the "bad" boys) so sports it is.

Nat said...

I definitely think the swimming helped me with my running. I was a decent short distance swimmer but I always excelled at the longer distances/events more.
I don't know that you can do much about the bad boys but for the most part we all figure out that the good guy is the one to settle down with.
Carmella out grew her eczema by the time she was 3 1/2. She still has dry skin but not the eczema breakouts anymore.

Dorothy Gould said...

Steph, You are definitely on the right path with the team sports. Sophie hasn't started any yet, and with Kindergarten looming next year, am not sure when we will fit them in. I think maybe around 7-8 yrs of age. I commend you for trying to instill these values in your girls. I have found that consistency is the key for us. It is so hard at times to be consistent, I find it much easier to give in, but then that would "undo" all my hard work. Take heart in this: After 2 years of listening to me tell her "no talking back" Sophie will now catch herself when she is about to and say,"oh, I forgot, no talking back". Score one for Mommy!

A parenting "expert" I like is John Rosemond. He is very no nonsense and common sense. His books are some I refer to over and over.

Maybe we will see you at Breakfast with Santa at church next week?

Anonymous said...

OMG - We are so gonna have to pull out the Santa phone call. AWESOME! We have already started the "Santa is watching." Christmas with kids is way more fun.

Doug, IMO, is totally right about the sports. on the playing field is where I met the best of my friends, where I felt most confident, and while I liked playing sports with the boys in the hood, I also enjoyed playing sports against other girls, where everyone really tried and didn't play the "EEk! A Ball!" crap that happens with co-ed stuff.

Anonymous said...

OMG - We are so gonna have to pull out the Santa phone call. AWESOME! We have already started the "Santa is watching." Christmas with kids is way more fun.

Doug, IMO, is totally right about the sports. on the playing field is where I met the best of my friends, where I felt most confident, and while I liked playing sports with the boys in the hood, I also enjoyed playing sports against other girls, where everyone really tried and didn't play the "EEk! A Ball!" crap that happens with co-ed stuff.

Anonymous said...

OMG - We are so gonna have to pull out the Santa phone call. AWESOME! We have already started the "Santa is watching." Christmas with kids is way more fun.

Doug, IMO, is totally right about the sports. on the playing field is where I met the best of my friends, where I felt most confident, and while I liked playing sports with the boys in the hood, I also enjoyed playing sports against other girls, where everyone really tried and didn't play the "EEk! A Ball!" crap that happens with co-ed stuff.

Anonymous said...

Don't ask why my comments repeated. Stupid blogger. . . .

Grey said...

So which bad ones were you chasing? I can't remember that far back.

Steph Bachman said...

Basically any ones that I chased were bad or unattainable. Otherwise, I wasn't really interested. Why would you want to date a nice boy who likes you? Silly!