A few weeks ago I had to give the hard truth to one of my kids, by letting her know how badly she sucked at one of her audition. Now, in the vein of full disclosure, my beloved daughter is nine, but before you get all sappy on me and start lamenting about how I’m this big, bad, horrible parent, grant me a minute to give you the backdrop: Out of all my children, my daughter is by far the most physically talented. Because she knows this, she’s sometimes driven toward cockiness, and if that’s not bad enough, to that she sometimes adds complacency, if not downright laziness. This particular audition was for an extremely competitive team that would have been advancement from the team she was currently on—the kicker is that she had performed so well on her previous team that she’d been invited to practice with them for several weeks before the actual audition. That in mind, it would be reasonable for anyone, but more specifically me, the person who’s taken and watched her keep up with and improve on this more advanced team week after week, to expect her to do well, or at the very least, perform at the level she’s been attaining up till now— unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. As I and all the other moms sat on edge peering through the observation window, I watched my baby-girl flounder into the space of mediocrity—needless to say I was beyond agitated and annoyed!
Months, weeks, days, hours, minutes, and seconds of my precious life had been given for the sake of my daughter’s greatness, yet, what I was witnessing was anything but—I couldn’t wait to for she and I to have words. I began started first with calm questions, “So, was there any particular reason why you were standing way in the back”, “I was wondering why you were just standing there during breaks while al the advanced team girls were practicing?”, “Can you tell me why you seemed so unenthused?” I think our conversation might have went a just a tad bit better if her voice I would have detected even a hint of disappointment, but, there was none. “Mom, I think I did fine.” was all she had to give me, and it made the muscles in my neck tense!
Now, call me a stage mom, call me super competitive, call me pushy, an overachiever, or any of the like, and I promise you I won’t disagree—however, what I don’t accept and what I’ve always taught my children is that it is not okay to do “fine”, or be average, especially in areas where they have the ability to be great.
So, I told my sweetie pie the honest truth, that she’d possibly blew her opportunity and misused her advantage by resting on her talent, instead of seizing her opportunity to shine and perform! I told her in no uncertain terms that on this particular day, she was just average when she could have been great. Was she annoyed to hear it, yes. Did she cry—No! I’ve told her dozens of times that I won’t lie to her, when she kills it, I tell her, If she’s okay, she get’s that too. I don’t sugarcoat her abilities, which allows her to trust my word.