Kids often exhibit ungratefulness. One of the downsides of sports parenting is that often your kids don’t appreciate the sacrifices you make so they can enjoy their sport. It can become very taxingon a parent’s patience.
A few weeks ago, a friend of mine shared how she dealt with her “ungrateful” child and I thought her experience just might encourage some of you sacrificing moms and dads. Carrie wrote:
Because my boys have such long days with sports and they have to catch the bus at 6:45 a.m., I drive them to the bus stop (about 1/2 mile away) to save them the extra time.
For the past week or so, wrestling workouts had been “evil,” I was told. My 15-year-old was tired and sore and grumpy. As the week wore on, he became increasingly surly and would drag his feet every morning as he got ready for school and would dally to the car after practices.
One night I waited nearly a half hour while he showered and did who-knows-what. Clearly he did not understand that getting rides from mom are a favor, not a right, and that somehow my time was not valuable.
Friday morning, he was really late. His brother was ready and we were already two minutes past leaving time, so we got in the car and started pulling out without my 15-year-old. He came running out of the house and threw his hands up in the air–not like “goal” but like “what the h*ll?”
Not okay. Totally disrespectful.
“Didn’t you see me?” he practically yelled as he hopped in and slammed the door.
That night when he texted me after practice, “we’re done,” I texted back: “Great. As you walk home, please think about the favor I do for you every day by driving and consider ways to show your gratitude.”
Our house is about 5.5 miles from school. Even better, he had to lug home all his gear that night, in addition to his backpack, for a competition the next day.
“I’m really sorry about this morning. I was grumpy,” came the text reply.
I texted back: “I understand. You will still need to walk.”
Ten minutes later: “Can I please have a ride?”
“I’ll consider it,” I wrote. I had planned to pick him up at the halfway point but I never had to because half way home, an upperclassmen, my son’s school hero, pulled over and offered him a ride home. He still believes I would have made him walk all the way home. Perfect!
When he got home, I received a tearful apology, a hug and an evening pal. I think he discovered that the walk home is not impossible but definitely not fun and definitely not something he wants to do every night. I do believe he learned his lesson.
Don’t you just love it when those hard parenting stand-offs turn out well?
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