Apr 182013
 

English: A typical cheap basketball with a rub...

 

Do you ever wonder about some of the decisions you’ve made? To label them “good” or “bad”? To evaluate the ways you’ve tried to show love? How things might have turned out if you had made different choices?

From time-to-time I do that —  although usually from a starting point of gratitude and appreciation. Granted, I’ve made my share of decisions that didn’t look too wonderful — especially in the short term. But I feel blessed to have developed the ability to find value in the struggles and to be a bit more forgiving. It doesn’t always look like ball players from opposing teams struggling to come away with the ball: I have come to believe that, in any given moment, we all do the best we can with what we’ve got. And, as the great poet said, “When we know better, we do better.”

When we know better, we do better. Click To Tweet

A successful businessman I know questioned the choices he’d made when his children were really young.  Like so many people striving to build careers and provide for their families, he wondered if he’d been home enough.  Especially when his marriage ended.

... the only reason he played basketball was to make me happy. Click To Tweet

“Something surprising happened when my 17-year-old son came to live with me: we got very close and talked a lot.  He had played Little League baseball, and, in his junior year added basketball.  But he told me the only reason he’d played basketball was to make me happy.  It just floored me: I thought he liked it.  But he said it was because I told him that he had to do things and get involved and be successful.  When he said it, it hurt a little bit and felt good at the same time.”

How do we support our partners, kids, and friends without pressuring them to do things solely to please us?  Especially now that research tells us that complimenting kids on effort and accomplishment (v. how they “are”) works better for many of them. What is best way to communicate our expectations for behavior and our unconditional love?…. to let them know we love them more than basketball. Just because.

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  10 Responses to “I Love You More Than Basketball”

  1. This is such an important topic, Andrea, and so glad you shared. It’s a fine line between encouraging our children to stretch themselves and giving them space to expand in the way most fitting. My husband and I talk about this very often and never really know what “the right” answer is. This whole idea about parenting without instructions is ever the challenge, eh?

    Appreciating you!

    • I think that the willingness to take a look at whatever we are doing with our kids is an important ingredient. Thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment.

  2. I hope that the mistakes I’ve made and the experiences I’ve had will not only be lessons for me, but examples for my kids and grandkids that it’s okay to beat your own drum, so long as it’s your music and not someone elses.

  3. A profound question that I will happily noodle and answer tomorrow morning in my writing pratice, “What is best way to communicate our expectations for behavior and our unconditional love?…. to let them know we love them more than basketball. Just because.” It ties in with my holiay gift-giving process…wrapped or unwrapped presents or both???

    • I feel honored that you’ll be using it that way. And the switch to gift bags has helped my indecisive parts navigate the holidays with less stress.

  4. Oh, I love that! As a mom I can feel the push and pull to have my son pursue the things I like him to vs the things he really likes. I constantly have to take a step back and ask, is this for me or for him?

  5. Beautiful beautiful Andrea!
    Such an inspiring story. Learning to make the right choices and decisions is one thing parents will have to take the risk not knowing if they are doing right or wrong. Doing the best we can to give our children so much love and trust so they can be free to take the chance and thrive in what they really love and are good at could be a good start. 😊

    • No matter how hard we try, it’s not always easy to remember we can’t be 100% responsible for how another interprets our communication. Even if that “other” is a precious child or spouse. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughtful comment.

Care to share? Hearing from you makes my day!

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