Her response? “No no no Mummy! I want to skate, I want to go competitive, and I want the extra ice times, and extra lessons.”
Okay: but that means, no nagging from me about getting up at 6am, no whining when I say it is a skating day and therefore no play date.
And she has kept up her end of the bargain.
So here we are a month later, getting ready for another skating competition, less than a week away. And the mother is so nervous. But I don’t share that with her. She doesn’t get nervous, or doesn’t appear to. She worries about what I will think, so I have told her that it isn’t about what I think. She likes to win, but she doesn’t worry about what the other kids do. And I told her, what she does on the ice is between her and her coach. It is what goes on off the ice that I am in charge of and she needs to remember that I am the “off ice partner”… The one who looks after what she eats, what she does and who she does it with. I make sure the homework gets done, the chores get done, and that the off ice activity happens: a little bit of running, a little bit of bike riding, some stretching, some dance and some off ice practice (jumping, core work and the off ice solo practice). I mostly let the “off ice” bike riding and running come from being a kid, and so far she is good at that.
That is where it gets tricky… As a parent, you want them to stay little as long as possible, but they want to compete. So, the rule in our house has become, as long as it is fun and you are enjoying the “work” part of it, then we continue. But if it becomes a chore, then we re examine. And start again!