Parental Tango

February 01, 2012

Posted By: Shaunescy

This is our third teenage tango - and I'm not at all convinced that "perfect practice makes perfect." We still struggle with the same issues, ask the same questions and ponder the same self-evaluation, " Are we doing the right thing ? Are we teaching him to think and manage for himself?"

Suffice to say, children raised in the same environment with the same rules does not guarantee the same result. Or even close.

In fact, each go-around seemingly derives a new result. Let me say, I am eternally grateful this is the last of the little Mohicans to pass through the Walters' Parental Valley. The elders are weary and ready for a retreat of major proportions. Like real adult vacations, sans kids menus.

The most recent challenge involves sports participation - and I'm at an impasse - how much do I push? How much do I acquiesce? How much of a fight do I impose? Or not?

In the past, there were times when we stepped  adelante  (forward), when we should have stepped  atras  (backward), and times when we certainly were without  el ritmo  (rhythm!)

My son is struggling with inspiration and motivation to keep his "eye of the tiger" engaged. Do I make him toe the line, and force him to "finish what he started" or do I let him quit if he's truly miserable?

The comforting part, we had a discussion about it - via text messaging, of course.

It went something like this:

Him: Im sick of this {he was fed up with several issues.} Tell me what I shuld do.

Me: Honey, du what u feel is best. I cannot make these decisions for u, but I support u no matter what.

Him: If you were me, what would you do?

Me: If I were you, I would be determined to have a strong finish. You owe it to yourself.

{After several more back and forths, swings, dips and a few cha-cha-cha's...}

Him: OK, mom. TY for supporting me. I luv u.

Me: Luv u 2 honey.

Perhaps for now, this time, it's parenting well-done.

Or I am saved by the end of the season.

Although, next year, we may dance this dance again, trying to decide if we push for activities, or slide back and let him decide completely on his own what he wants to create for himself. Regardless, we will be there to catch him when he "dips backwards!"

A Tango Move: Cadena Chain. A movement of two people across the floor in a circular motion. One partner displaces the other partners leg and rolls across the front of their body. The other partner continues the motion. Must be seen to be appreciated.

As I've slowly learned over the years, with parenting, most lessons " must be seen to be appreciated!"

Mother of three, Katie Walters is the author of An Authentic Life , a member of and is proudly invited to share within the pages of Montana Parent Magazine's website.

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