Soccer has started again. Finley's first game was two weeks ago. Finley struggled. We had a talk when we got home about the attitude problems he had at the game. He gets so frustrated with himself because he doesn't feel that he is as good as some of the other kids on the team. He wants to score a goal so bad but instead of trying & getting in the game, he shuts down and quits. All he kept saying was that he was a bad player, he wasn't good, and he wouldn't play anymore because everyone else is better. It breaks my heart that our children at the age of 5/6 are already 1. comparing themselves to other kids, and 2. are willing to walk away from something they usually enjoy just because they don't feel they measure up. And so I have been asking myself these past few days, how do I help our kids with these type of situations?
We are really trying hard to teach our children that it's not about winning the game, being the best, or in Finn's case that it's not just about scoring the goals. It's about having fun, playing with friends, bettering ourselves, and being healthy & active. That's what really counts.
After seeing him shut-down yesterday it just reminded me of how fragile a child's ego and self-esteem can be. I struggled with a low self-esteem (basically no self-esteem) all the way into college. I don't want my kids to have to deal with that. I pray every night to my Heavenly Father that I can help my children truly understand and believe how amazing they are. That they have talents that make them special, that they are capable of doing anything they put their mind and heart into. I want them to know that they are loved and are worthy of love no matter what anybody else says or does. I want them to believe in their individual worth as a child of God.
Do any of you guys struggle with these things? Ryan and I have always tried to be encouraging and uplifting in the home. Giving praise and encouragement in the things our children do. How have you or do you help your children understand their worth?
We are doing a Happy Heart Chart with Finley for soccer. We put circles on the calendar for each day he has practice and each day he has a game for the next 2 months. If he has a happy heart (aka attitude) then he gets to put a smiley face on it. If he has a bad attitude then he has to put a frowny face on it. He helped choose the reward (the new Lego Star Wars III video game - which was going to be a bday present but now he has to earn it) and I have to say that he was awesome at last weeks practice and game. He had such a good attitude and cheered his little heart out for his team. And he even had FUN!!! So, only 6 more games & practices to go, but I think he just might get his reward :)
Getting ready to kick it in during last weeks game.
photo courtesy of Berlin
photo courtesy of Berlin