Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Team: A Commitment

Aaden was scheduled to wrestling in Blue Earth, Minnesota a couple of weekends ago, and he decided he didn't want to go. We had bags packed, the other two kids sent off to grandma's, and at the last minute he changed his mind.

As a parent, I had to make a choice at that point. Do I let him "quit" and skip the meet? Or do we make him follow through with his commitment? In this case, the practice season was over for his youth wrestling program, and nobody else from our club was going to the Minnesota meet. We chose it based on how they grouped the wrestlers for brackets. I decided that going up to Minnesota was a long drive for a kid who didn't want to do it. I don't know if he'll be interested again next year, or not.

On the flip side, I have Miss RyRy. She has not asked me to quit, but I only give her two chances per year to make a decision about whether she wants to continue. The rest of the time she is committed to the gym and the team. I ask her around Thanksgiving, when we are closing out the season, if she wants to continue into January and do the spring show and go to camp, and again in February-ish before we sign up for camp. Once we start in January she is committed to the Spring Show, and once we sign up for camp, we have a significant financial investment in moving forward. When June hits, we're prepping for meet season, and the cycle starts over again.

It's a funny grey area as a parent, deciding when to let your kid off the hook from something they signed up for, and when to make them stick it out even if they aren't happy about it. I remember when R tried soccer at age 4. She asked to go out, but when it came time for practice  and games, she cried and cried, and was not a productive team member. We let her be done, but only because they still had enough players to continue without her (not that she was playing, anyway). In rural Iowa there aren't always a lot of substitutes, so I probably wouldn't have the same reaction if A decided he didn't want to play baseball.

Making a commitment to a team has to mean something, though ultimately you have to decide what is best for your child and who is being hurt along the way. Here's to hoping that we won't have to deal with it much! As always, I'd love advice or input into how you've dealt with similar situations with your own children!


  1. Those are hard decisions but I love that you're teaching them that commitments are important to keep.

    1. Thanks Donna! I truly don't ever think there is a "right" answer, but I think there are lots of "wrong" answers. I don't know if that even makes sense, but basically - you do what is best for your kids and your situation; many right answers, but lots of poor ways to handle these situations, and I hope to teach my kids how to avoid those choices.