Friday, September 7, 2012


Soccer Girl tried out for and made the first cut for a state soccer training program.  Essentially the program (which most states have) evaluates players who try out to be in a training pool for six months.  Then each training center makes decisions about who will be on the "state" team.  She has passed the first hurdle.

Last year we kind of pushed her into trying out for the experience.  We talked to her about seeing what possibilities are out there, playing with other kids (she has played essentially with the same group of girls for years) and just seeing another level of play.  We told her if she does not make it, so what… she tried and stepped out of her comfort zone.  That is in and of itself is an accomplishment.  She did not make it.  

This year, we asked her if she wanted to try out again.  She thought about it and said yes.  It was her decision.  So off we went.  She missed the first of three tryouts due to vacation.  As we watched her two try outs, she played really well demonstrating her skills.  She messed up some as they all did.  But you never know what the evaluators see.  We felt she was right in there skill-wise with the other girls.  Overall we felt she did well, but seemed a bit tentative.  She is a kid that does not step out of her comfort zone much.  She didn't know many kids and was nervous.  But she played well and that is all we ever expect.  Then it was out of her hands. 

Her name was posted about two weeks ago as having made the training pool of players.  When I told her, I said, "You made ODP."  The look on her face was pure shock… I wish I had a picture.  She said, "I did?"  Then a moment later, she smiled slightly.  Then after a few seconds of thought she quietly said to herself, "Maybe I am good enough."  Bless her heart.

Sweet Girl, you are good enough… even if you didn't make it.  You went out there and played well.  You showed your skills and that is all anyone can ever ask.  I know it was not easy and you were very nervous and reluctant, despite your desire to try out.

So she starts training once a week for the next six months. She recently told me that maybe she doesn't want to do it now. That is her fear of the unknown, wavering confidence and nerves.  We are trying to boost her confidence and let her know that no matter what happens in March, the training she is going to receive is an opportunity to push herself and grow not only in soccer, but many other areas of life.  You will never know what will happen if you don't try.  

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

He Just Needs More Discipline… Gee Why Didn't WE Think of THAT?

I have written about other's view of Little Man and his behavior before.  While I do not typically vent publicly very often, I am angry.  When it involves my kids, I will come out swinging.  I will protect my kids.  Little Man is starting kindergarten.  I will protect him.  What has been said about him over the year's hurts, makes me angry and makes me want me to call "bullshit" now (to use a term from my friend).  It has been said that if we (Chief and I) disciplined Little Man more, he would behave.  This was just brought up to me again recently.

I call bullshit!  We have raised two well mannered, polite children before Little Man.  It is absolutely ignorant to think that Chief and I just need to discipline him more for him to behave properly.  Why would we throw discipline out the window with our third child?

He has been evaluated by professionals (people with actual degrees and qualifications - not some archaic 1950s viewpoint).  EVERYONE has agreed that he is a kid with ADHD.  Look it up, actually do some research.  His brain works differently than our brains do.  Therefore, the typical parenting/discipline does NOT work with him.  If it did, he would be a model child (like my other two).  Disciplining him more, spanking him, yelling at him, or whatever other's think we need to be doing more of, IS NOT the answer.  The poor kid is disciplined more than my other two children EVER were.  Just because you do not see a "disability" does not mean it does not exist.  Just because you don't understand something does not mean it does not exist.

His behavior is pervasive in all aspects of his life. He is constantly in "fight" mode over most everything.  We typically go into "fight" mode psychologically when our safety or the safety of our loved ones is involved.  Little Man's brain goes into "fight" mode over something as simple as asking him to put on his shoes.  His brain works differently.  If you take the time to look at him… really look at him… you can see the turmoil in his eyes.  And while he may "behave" for others at times, if anyone spends any extended time with him, they will see his daily struggles despite their "model" parenting skills or disciplinary actions.

It hurts me deeply that people that know us, believe the answer to his problem is for us to discipline him more (or we would not be having these problems with him if we had done it sooner).  Have you not heard us for the last 3 years?  Have you not paid attention?  Have you not done some research to try to understand what we are saying?  You obviously do not know us and you do not know Little Man.  It makes me really sad to think that nothing will change some people's viewpoint, even if we handed out copies of his testing and evaluations.

It angers me that our parenting (or apparent lack thereof) is a topic of discussion.  Judging our parenting is up to God - no one else.  It is holier than thou, ignorant and shameful.  I am not willing to put my child in a situation where he is judged constantly any more.  And, I am not willing to put myself in a situation where our parenting and every comment is under scrutiny.  Decisions will be different for our family going forward.  If that offends people, too bad.

If disciplining him more would allow us to go in public and not be embarrassed by his behavior, don't you think we would?

If disciplining him more would allow him to focus in school without constant teacher intervention, don't you think we would?

If disciplining him more stopped me from crying after hearing how his day went, don't you think we would?

If disciplining him more would allow us to do more fun things as a family, like hike Multnomah Falls, don't you think we would?

If disciplining him more allowed us to not worry about his future ability to hold down a job and relationships, don't you think we would?

If disciplining him more meant we did not need to resort to medication, don't you think we would?

If disciplining him more meant I did not sigh with relief when Little Man and the neighbor's daughter did NOT get in the same kindergarten class because I did not want his struggles at school to be a topic of discussion for them, don't you think we would?

If disciplining him more saved us hundred's of dollars in doctor's bills and medication, don't you think we would?

If disciplining him more got him an invitation like everyone else to a class birthday party, don't you think we would?

If disciplining him more stopped the negative comments made by other children to Little Man, don't you think we would?

Gee, why didn't WE think of THAT?  If it were only THAT simple.