Kenyan, my 3-year old son, takes his soccer games seriously, as he does any sport he chose to play. While his easily distracted teammates wander around the field, Kenyan stays focused on the game. Even when he’s sitting out he still chose to sit and watch his team play and cheers them on. Not coincidentally, he is one of the better player on the team and scores an average of 6 goals a game. This blog however, is not about his soccer exploits.
After clapping his first couple goals, I usually keep a low profile and encourage him to involve his team by passing the ball. Most of the kids play a one-on-five game and plays against their team so this is hard to instill at that age. Fortunately, he seems to get the idea and I high-five him for making passes as much as scoring goals.
Yesterday he started his shift by netting two quick strikes. After the third goal he actually started passing off to his teammates, even giving up scoring opportunities. He did not score another goal for the rest of the game. Unfortunately, I don’t think his team did either.
Just before he got on the field for the last shift of the game, I experienced a sudden bout of selfishness and without thinking, said to Kenyan, ‘This is your last shift, go out there and score a few goals, don’t bother to pass the ball, just go!’ Yes, I did say that. I don’t know what came over me and as soon as I said it, I felt disappointed in myself. Thank goodness I have instilled values in my son and he had retained them. Kenyan turned, looked at me in dismay as though he couldn’t believe I actually said that. ”Daddy, they are on my team, I have to pass to them.”
Yes, that’s all it took. A nice gentle rebuke from my 3-year old to nudge me in sensibility. Yes son, you are right. Don’t listen to what daddy just said, go out there and play with your team.
Isn’t it awesome when your kid uses the life lesson you taught him to bring you back on track? Even as parents, we are not above rebuke.
Note: Now don’t go all ‘awww’ as this is the same kid who just yesterday, yelled ‘Mikhail, you suck!’ at his brother’s soccer game after Mikhail missed the ball on an easy goal attempt.