It happened yesterday. Eli was scheduled to test for his green belt, his older sister tested earlier in the week, but Eli didn’t want to. Before we got to karate, Eli threw a fit about not wanting to go and wanting to quit, but I made him get dressed anyway so he could tell the instructor himself he wanted to quit or work something out if he wanted to continue.
I admit, I don’t want him to quit. Both kids have to do some activity. They can’t just stay on the phones/computers all the time. And when he goes to class he has fun. I don’t get it. But on the way over he said he didn’t want to quit, he just didn’t feel like testing.
I didn’t listen. We got to karate and the instructor was talking to him, telling him that he could test today or he could wait until the next cycle but he would remain an orange belt until them. Then I butted in saying that his sister would be a green belt and it would only take a few minutes to take the rest.
Why was I rushing him?
I then heard the instructor say to Eli that he could go at his own pace. I heard him say it, but I wasn’t listening.
I butted in again saying it wouldn’t take long and reminding him that Isla would be ahead of him.
I said this because I didn’t want Eli to get down on himself for not being a green belt. I didn’t want him to get discouraged and really want to quit. But I was so pushy!
The instructor told Eli again that it was at his own pace and he didn’t have to test. I truly heard him this time, but Eli had already decided to test.
He passed and earned a green belt, but I walked out there cringing because I had been one of “those moms” — a helicopter parent, a bossy, I-know-everything kind of mom. And I hate that.
I should’ve listened to Eli when he said he didn’t want to do it that day, even though he was obviously ready because he passed. But I shouldn’t have pushed and manipulated.
My kids are totally different, and I shouldn’t expect them to do the same things at the same times. I should listen to their needs and evaluate them separately.
I should remember that Eli gets so overwhelmed sometimes (part of having ADHD) and needs breaks to process things. I’m no different. None of us is.
I expect people to cater to my needs and diagnoses (depression, anxiety, eating disorder, etc) all the time, fair or not. I should do the same with my family. I’m going to start by listening more.
Thanks to the karate instructor (he’s mine, too) for teaching me a valuable lesson. I’m sure they’ll be many more.