Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Sports day and a regret

Last week the twins' had their Sports Day and H won a bronze in the class race. Instead of celebrating, my first reaction was to look out for N and her reaction. The thing is, N is the sporty one. She's the one who comes home with a medal and is heartbroken if she doesn't get her moment on the victory stand.

H makes things worse by not being sensitive at all. I could almost see him revelling in his medal and how that would make matters worse for N. So when I went to pick them up I hugged them both, underplaying H's victory. 

As it turned out, to his complete credit and my amazement, H was pretty nonchalant about the whole thing and didn't blow his trumpet one bit. Very surprising indeed!

What surprised me even more was N’s reaction. She was a little upset I could tell, but she kept a smile firmly on her face and was over it soon enough. It might have to do with the fact that she was part of the gymnastic display and so didn’t mind not winning. It might have to do with her recent dance performance where she'd taken centre-stage already.

It brought home the importance of helping kids find their niche – something they’re good at – academics or a sport, a dance form or a musical instrument. It does wonders for their self-esteem and allows them to handle failure better. That’s what seemed to have worked for N.

Maybe I’m over analyzing this and the kids are just growing up. 

Whatever it is, I was a relieved mum that day. I do have a regret though - I wish I'd had that one moment of unadulterated happiness and of praise for H – it was the first time he had won at sports since when he was a toddler.


That’ll remain with me a long time.

It's good for the kids though: to learn to look beyond themselves - to be empathetic as also to be happy for a sibling or a friend.

If you have more than one child tell me how you handle it when one child does really well and the other doesn't? How do you praise one child while comforting the other?

18 comments:

  1. Sometimes kids can really surprise you. Just when you think you have got them figured out and expect the absolute worst, they surprise you and make you overwhelmingly proud!

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    1. When you expect the best they show their worst side and when you expect the worst they show up best. Always unexpected. Thanks Kathy for dropping by.

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  2. I love how candid you always are, Tulika. I rush over to read your posts the minute they are shared. I think it's the human fallibility that you express that makes me feel connected to you (among other things). I agree that kids tend to surprise us and it's a part of growing up. Pretty sure there are many moments I'd want to go back and undo, especially when I see baby pics of Gy and all that cherubic innocence of hers after I've gotten upset with her over something trivial.Sigh. But we grow and learn. Don't beat yourself up.

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    1. What can I say Shailaja - I think we all identify with each other as parents. I keep thinking I wish I'd done this better or wish I'd done this another way... Yes we grow and learn. That's the only consolation.

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  3. I think both your kids are sensitive and were spontaneous in showing how considerate they are - H in being nonchalant and N in being cool. You are lucky. And no need to feel bad about losing that moment - you did the right thing perhaps. Who knows if you had, they may have reacted differently. :) Either way, the moment is perfect. And yes, when children become passionate about their interests and get involved they do build self-confidence. Thank you for sharing this, Tulika. Hugs.

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    1. The what ifs are such a painful part of parenting, isn't it?

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  4. This line of yours :

    "it's good for the kids though: to learn to look beyond themselves - to be empathetic as also to be happy for a sibling or a friend."

    That says it all for me; kids seem to surprise us when we least expect it. And I guess as parents, we'll always want to go back and change something. But hey, we live, grow and learn.

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    1. That's the whole point of having siblings and so worth all the trouble I guess.

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  5. Kids can surprise and I feel it must be hard as a Mum of children. You write so that I also start thinking ;) Good one Tulika. H is a sweet one and so is N!

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    1. Parul wait till you get there. Drives one crazy, this parenting thing.

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  6. Maybe H would have felt awkward/embarrassed or blushed even at the attention had you showered it on him. But you are lucky to have two such amazing kids! Just revel in their magic, Tulika! Love your posts! :) ♡

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    1. Yes he does generally but when he's too excited he forgets sometimes and lets me hug him in public! All kids are amazing Shilpa, in their own special way.

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  7. Congratulations to H... Well done .. and I think a bit of rivalry is good for both of them.. it makes them comete as long as it is HEALTHY.

    I was the worst kids in studies hardly managed to pass exams and my cousin who use to stay with us was a topper always , it hurt a lot but then when it came to sports the things changed.. I was only good at sports and that's it ..


    Bikram's

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    1. You're right of course. It is just that I dislike them competing with each other. I'd much rather see them as a team competing with everyone else. Sigh! I AM glad they're good at different things just like you and your cousin. That kind of makes for a good balance.

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  8. Difficult question, me being a single child and unmarried...
    Thanks for sharing...

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    1. Hmm... I can understand.I'd never given such things a thought till the twins happened.

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  9. This made me realize that it must be tough to do the balancing act with 2 kids and it's tougher with twins. You are doing great with them, Tulika. They are growing up as compassionate and empathetic individuals which is so wonderful. Congratulations to H and N too for being so awesome!

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    1. Thanks Shilpa. Such reassurances are much needed. It's difficult to be fair to both of them all the time.

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