Why Am I the One That’s Nervous?

May 27, 2011 by cloften  
Filed under Family and Parenting

How many times in the last 5 years of my life has this been the scene?  I am standing on the sidelines of a soccer practice and watching Lauren.  I choose to not try and calculate that number.  (The answer will be troubling, like the time I calculated the number of sermons/talks I’ve heard in my life.)  However, this one was different.  This is her first “tryout.”  We are moving from academy level to club level.  What does that mean, you may ask?  First, it means they take more of our money and second, it would seem, that they take more of our time.  As they describe it though, I realize this team we’ve played on this year was already acting like a “club level” team, so we are already prepared for the time that competitive soccer can take.

Anywho, she is now trying out for the team as we move to this next level.  I am watching this tryout and I am as nervous as I have been in a long time.  I remember the first time I spoke at Fellowship Bible in Little Rock and I knew that I was going to speaking to thousands.  I was nervous.  Seriously, I was more nervous yesterday.  It felt silly, but I couldn’t help it.

I’ve felt this way before.  I took Maylee to an audition for a musical a few months ago.  I couldn’t get that stupid knot out of my stomach.  I was pacing down the hallway trying (unsuccessfully) to not listen in.

What is this neurotic behavior? Where does it come from?  It happens in a lot of parents for different reasons and manifests itself in different ways.  For me, I just don’t want them to be disappointed–ever.  I want them to always win, always be happy.  I want to give them everything they need and as much as they want as I can (within the bounds of good behavior, grateful hearts, anti-materialism, etc).  9 times out of 10 if they say, “Can we go to Sonic?” we go to Sonic.  Same for ice cream and renting movies.  The answer is almost always yes, if it is possible to do so.

Here I am though in situations that I can’t control even in the slightest.  I cannot ensure (good post on difference between insure, ensure and assure here) outcomes here, like I can with producing cherry limeades.  So perhaps, this is, at least in part, control issues.  However, it is so much more than that. I want them to win. I don’t want them to experience disappointment.

Unfortunately for some parents, this leads us to drive our children harder than they want to be driven.  “You must succeed.”  This makes it more about us than them.  Similarly, yet differently (nice, huh?) it can lead us to discourage our children from taking risks.  “It’s better to protect them, so they won’t get hurt.”  I think this also is about protecting us more than them.  It also isn’t realistic.  They will be disappointed.  That’s one of the sure things of this world.  Disappointment will come and it will hurt.

Are we preparing them for it? Are we walking them through it? Do we lovingly encourage them the whole way? These are the questions that we need to ask ourselves, not the question I wish I could: how can I make sure they are never disappointed or hurt?

As the reader(s?) of this blog know, I love my daughters and am overwhelmingly proud of them. I want them to win and I want them to know that I am their biggest fan in the world.  Our kids need to know that.

Just don’t tell them that I’m nervous, because it makes them nervous, and then they don’t do as well and then I get more nervous, which…you get the idea.


2 Responses to “Why Am I the One That’s Nervous?”
  1. cloften says:

    Oh, and BTW, the second part of tryouts are Tuesday. We don’t know anything yet.

  2. Carolyn Loften says:

    How did you know that was the next question?

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