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Letting our Children Take Ownership of their Decisions

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Change Your Mind

I never thought I’d be saying this, but the child I would have thought least likely to quit soccer, did just that.

She’s not really a child anymore…she’s a young woman who has been playing year round soccer for most of her life. I didn’t grow up playing soccer, nor did my husband, but it was her passion from an early age. She tried other activities. None of them stuck.

But passions can change. 

That’s the beauty of life. We are free to change, and to grow in different directions. 

And we do. 

Spring was difficult. She ran track for her high school and played soccer on her club team…it was not an easy schedule. Most of us would have buckled under the weight of it. She’d go from one practice to the other, sometimes working out for 4-5 hours a day. She had meets and games. Games were often out of state, involving overnight travel. Add school into that, and it was a grueling schedule. We could see it was hard. 

But we couldn’t make her decisions for her. She had to decide, or choose not to decide. We never asked her to choose one or the other.

I have to admit, her choice threw me for a loop. Although I’m a runner, I love everything about soccer. Several times she asked me what I thought she should do. My reply was always “I will support you no matter what you decide, but I cannot choose for you.”

Sometimes as parents, we have to step back. Letting our children take ownership of their decisions is important for their personal growth. Our daughter needed to own this decision. I didn’t want to sway her one way or the other. 

I’m sure it wasn’t easy to leave a sport that she poured her heart and soul into for so many years. 

For the record, I think she chose well. I think it’s going to be a good season, with some great challenges, and opportunities to grow. 

Here she is, about to cross the finish line of her first competitive meet of the season. 

And so now, I’m a cross country and soccer mom. But my soccer mom days are limited. While she is not still playing, our boys are. However, our youngest son has already told us he plans to run in high school next year rather than play soccer. Our oldest is playing soccer again this year, but he’s off to college next year. Once that happens, I will officially be a cross country and track mom.

Here’s to new beginnings. 



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Lily Lau

Thursday 25th of September 2014

It's good that you highlight that thing of "I can't choose for you". I'm really undecissive, and sometimes it's just comfortable that they choose for me, so I need that they remind me that so I learn to choose by myself.


Sunday 21st of September 2014

I think that was very mature of both of you. Sometimes it's just too much and it's nice to know that she will have the wisdom to step back from something that is not just challenging, but just too hard to manage. I'm struggling with the same situation with my sixteen year old. He is thisclose to getting his Eagle, but some of the other Scouts have been real jerks to him over the years and he is thinking about quitting Scouts altogether. We've talked to the leaders and they just don't seem to be able to solve the problem. I've seen so many guys who have regretted not getting their Eagle and I don't want him to be one of them. So, right now I'm pushing for him to just hurry up and finish, but we'll see how it goes. It's definitely a tough decision for both of us. #SITSSharefest

Michelle Nahom

Sunday 21st of September 2014

I hope he gets it. It's hard to get that far, and not finish, because it's such a big thing. I thought Scouts was supposed to be a more cohesive group...that the leaders really encourage the feeling of "pack." I guess there are kids everywhere that try to make themselves superior by treating others badly. But Scouts is not the place for that type of place is, but Scouts especially. The leaders need to give the kids causing problems an ultimatum. Why do we not give kids consequences anymore?


Saturday 20th of September 2014

Great post Michelle! I'm all for letting my teens make their own decisions - I'm always here to talk about it, but I TRY not to be too opinionated (with varying degrees of success :). Like you said, it's a great way for them to take ownership and understand the consequences either way. My younger son has run cross country for years, and it's such a great sport with wonderful kids. She will enjoy it! Loved the picture.


Saturday 20th of September 2014

My husband and I were just talking about this in regard to our son. In letting him make his own mistakes like taking responsibilities like homework and cleaning his room his own responsibility. I guess as parents we don't want our children to face things like regret and failure, but I suppose they need to learn those things along with responsibility. Visiting from SITS Sharefest! Have a good weekend!

Michelle Nahom

Saturday 20th of September 2014

I think that is a big part of what we are doing wrong in society today. We shield our kids from making mistakes or taking responsibility and then they never learn how to make decisions on their own, or handle disappointment. Don't get me wrong, I'm far from a perfect parent, but I have tried to give my kids responsibility and not micro manage. I think in the long run, its going to be better for them, even though there's bumps along the way. Thanks so much for stopping by...I'll drop by to visit you as well! :)

Amy at Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Friday 19th of September 2014

It's sometimes hard to hold back and not jump in and make decisions for our kids. Good for her for figuring it out!