Thursday, June 24, 2010

I've got the "Second-Guessing Blues" today

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, let me mention again that Jennica has made large social strides in the last year.  With these strides has come great improvement in the ability to tolerate noisy environments, lots of movement around her, and chaos in general.  She has gone from being a wall-hugger in the school hallways, to zipping around with friends smack dab in the middle of the chaos.  And she's been happy and engaged in those environments.....not just present. 

Both of our girls passed on the opportunity to play T-ball this past spring.  Tiersten was worried that she might miss out on too many riding lessons with her horse, and the lots-of-waiting-for-your-turn environment of T-ball didn't strike a chord with us as being a great idea with Jennica.  And admittedly, having the two boys both absorbed in track and Grant's surgery scheduled for April didn't really make me inclined to "push" the girls to add another set of games/practices to our schedule on top of school.

But rec league soccer is played here during the summer.  It starts after school is out and is completed long before school starts again.  And soccer involves a lot of physical running outdoors.  We mentioned it to the girls in May, and both were excited with the idea.  So.....we signed them up.  We bought the cleats and the shinguards, and we have practiced with them at home.  Both girls can dribble the ball surprisingly well!   We started practice with their assigned team this past Monday.

After two practices, Tiersten is doing great.  No surprises there.  Jennica is doing......not so great.  And I'm stunned.  She got through about 30 minutes of the first practice before the whining and tears started.  The second practice was even worse.  None of these kids are accomplished soccer players and the coach keeps things light and fun.  But Jennica is falling apart. 

So...I admit that I'm frustrated.  She has done GREAT at home with our family playing in the yard.  She gets right to the ball and will even steal it from her big brothers.  This is an outdoor sport, so the noise of gymnasiums that typically bothers her isn't a factor.  I honestly thought that this would be a good opportunity for her to play and run and exercise.  Instead, it appears that its going to be an overwhelming failure for her.  I wish I had never signed her up. 

Tonight, we have our third practice and I think we'll try again.  My goal is to get 20 minutes of "engaged behavior" out of her at the beginning of practice and then she can do....whatever.  Sit on the sidelines or whatever.  She is already whining that she doesn't want to go at all.  So where did we go wrong?  Do we just let her "quit"?  This doesn't seem like something you force a kid to do.  And who is it really for?  I don't need her to play soccer, so why am I still trying?  When do you begin to talk to kids about "quitting"? 

Soccer schmoccer.  GGGGGRRRRRRR.

No comments: