Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Tale of Two Soccer Players

I never cease to be amazed at how different my 3 children can be from one another. Same DNA, same parents, same home environment, yet 3 totally different kids!

This spring both my 8 year old son and my 5 year old daughter are playing soccer, they're on different teams with different practice nights, but in the same league. It's the first time for them both to be doing the same sport and it really highlights some of the ways they're different.

Here's my 8 year old son playing soccer:

As he gets ready for practice I have to remind him about every step and sometimes re-remind. Change into soccer clothes, shin guards, cleats, find your soccer ball!

Then I hand him his already filled (by me) bottle of ice water to take to practice.

Me: "Ball and water bottle. Those are the things you need to keep up with at practice and make sure they make it to practice and back home again. Okay?"

We drive exactly 2 minutes to practice. I park, unload all 3 kids out of the car to walk the 8 year old into his practice area a couple fields over, usher kids across parking lot making sure everyone is holding hands (Is it just me or is there just no good way to do this when you have 3 kids and only 2 hands?). Then I look down at the 8 year old.

No water bottle and no ball!!!

Me (trying not to sound exasperated): "What are you missing?"

Him: "Oh yeah, they're in the car."

My 5 year old daughter playing soccer:

Her (as she gets ready for practice): "Mommy we have to get my shin guards on and my cleats. Here I'll get them, I know right where they are. And my ball. And my water bottle! We can't forget my water bottle! Here it is in the cabinet, I'm going to fill it up!"

Me: "Good job remembering, I almost forgot about the water bottle!"

And needless to say she made it out of the car and into practice with both her ball and water bottle with no reminders or trips back to the car!

I'm thinking I'm going to have to practice some tough love on my 8 year old and maybe let him show up to practice without his water bottle or ball or shin guards a couple times if he doesn't get them himself. It worked with his homework for school. After the one time when I made the hard decision not to rescue him and take the homework folder he left on the table up to school, he hasn't forgotten it again and I don't even have to remind him to put it in his backpack!

So are the differences in my son and daughter boy/girl differences or just their personalities?

One more last funny note about both of them playing the same sport. At her age my daughter's team rotates all the players through all the positions so she got to play goalie at her game on Saturday and I snapped this picture:

When he saw she'd been put at goalie, my 8 year old son had to jump up from his seat on the sidelines (his game was after hers) and go behind the goal to give his little sister some coaching. Doesn't she look like she's thrilled to have his instruction?!!

1 comment:

  1. Oh for me this was just the difference between my sons and my daughter. All my boys were that way...all..of..them...It was hard and a fine line to walk sometimes. I had to let them take heat many times for things they needed to be responsible for on their own. Sometimes it worked, others..not so much. Real encouraging huh? lol Don't worry too much though. It all worked out eventually as they became adults.


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