PARENTING IS NOT A POPULARITY CONTEST

My eldest daughter thinks I’m the worst mum. In fact, she went as far as telling me the other day that all her friends tell her that they would hate to have me as their mum! 

I can hear you asking yourself ‘What has she done that is so horrible?’ Well the answer to that question is simple. I have told my daughter that she is not allowed to travel in a car with a friend who has just got their driver’s license, until they have three months experience of driving without the assistance of their parent to intervene or advise when they are driving. They also need to learn to cope with the distraction of loud music, friends goofing around and the urge to show off!

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As I told my daughter, ‘I have made this rule to protect you and your friends. I love you and want to keep you safe. After three months, your friends will have more confidence, have some experience with driving by themselves and will be less inclined to show off their new skills as the initial excitement of driving alone will have worn off!’

Heaven knows it would make my life easier to not have to play Mum’s taxi for her all the time, however statistics in Australia show that one quarter of all fatalities and hospitalisations from car accidents are drivers under 25, even though they only make up 15% of license holders!

Unfortunately at this age kids think they are invincible! I already know of two 17 year old girls that have recently had accidents requiring hospitialisation not long after they got their license, which hardens my resolve on this matter.

I know that in a few months time this won’t be an issue because her closest friends will have passed the allotted time restriction, but until then I have to accept that she and her friends don’t like me. I’m okay with that because keeping her and her friends safe is more important to me than a popularity contest. Being a mother sometimes means showing them you love them by saying no!

 

What are your thoughts? Do you think I’m being over-protective or do you think this is a good rule?

 

 

(Image by digitalart, freedigitalphotos.net)

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AGGRESSION IN KID’S SPORT  

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My son has shown interest in playing rugby union with his friends. To this point I have flatly refused, as I worry about him injuring himself and logistically we simply can’t add another Saturday sport to our already busy roster. He instead plays basketball and indoor soccer on weekdays to get his sporting fix.

Last weekend whilst watching my daughter play soccer, there was a teenage game of rugby being played on the field behind us.

Before the teams played, they huddled together in a circle and started some ritualistic caveman-like grunting and yelling that I assume was designed to psych out the other team, but as the other team were doing the same it seemed lost on them. However, I must admit that so much testosterone-filled shouting in one small space startled me a little!

Once they took to the field, these kids (in adult size bodies) started smashing into each other and then piling on top of one another. I don’t know the finer rules of this game, but I know enough that these are called rucks, so called I assume because the boys use their studded boots to try to ruck the ball out of the pile of bodies. Too bad if your face, arm or body are in the way at this time!

Cringing at the violent nature of this game I was shocked to hear parents on the sidelines calling out things like ‘show more aggression’, ‘kill ‘em’ and ‘man up’. Surely as parents, we are better to be cheering ‘go team’, rather than ‘kill ’em’. Our kid’s aren’t gladiators – they are just playing a game of football!

The tipping point for me was when two boys clashed heads and were both rendered unconscious. While they lay there unmoving, I heard a boy call out to his teammates to leave them alone, as being unconscious proved that they didn’t know how to play the game very well.

Sick to my stomach to see these kids suffering from brain injuries that left them lying lifeless for a few minutes, coupled with the complete lack of empathy for their situation, cemented my resolve that I don’t want to encourage my son to play this sport. The thought that one day my son could be that boy lying unconscious on the ground sent shivers down my spine. I honestly don’t see the need for aggression in kid’s sport. Personally I am all for non-contact sport that requires effort and skill not aggression!

 

What are your thoughts?

 

 

(Picture courtesy of Vectorolie, freedigitalphotos.net)