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Table Talk: When Your Heart Goes Walking

Table Talk discusses parents' feelings on one challenging aspect of raising children.

Question: How do you keep your emotions “in check” when your child is doing extra curricular activities?

I don’t.  My oldest daughter is a dancer. When she started auditioning for college dance program I found it nerve wracking to say the least.  Needless to say, I could not bring myself to attend those auditions with her. My middle daughter was a cheerleader. When she competed, all I could think about was that she would make a mistake that would affect the score for the whole team. I held my breathe during the entire routine.

I took this question to three of my friends; below are their responses:

  • One friend said that after watching her child play soccer she noticed all the grass missing from below her feet. She had been kicking an imaginary soccer ball along with her child throughout the game.
  • One friend admitted yelling encouragingly what they should be doing. In fact, she was just trying to relieve her own stress.
  •  “My stomach was always in knots,” reported another friend. She would hold her breath, praying they would be successful. She especially hated close games, which would not only get her in the stomach, but made her heart race out of control.

After talking to these friends I was reassured I wasn’t alone with my feelings. They too felt that having a child is “to forever have your heart go walking around outside your body.” I believe what we all really want is for our children to end an activity successfully, wearing an ear-to-ear smile.

I hoped with my son I would be calmer, but that is not the case. He competes in tennis. I couldn't make myself go to his last tournament. This weekend he has another tournament. My goal is to go and just enjoy watching him play. Fingers crossed.

If you would like to comment on this blog please do so in the comment section below. If you would like to write in your questions, thoughts or ideas for the next “Table Talk” please send your e-mail to patchtabletalk@gmail.com

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Leyla Hernandez January 10, 2013 at 08:11 PM
Hi Tami, I have two daughters that play in tennis tournaments. The older daughter started High School last year and was playing for the Varsity team. I have not been able to attend any of their tournaments or matches because of how nervous I get! My husband is the one who attends all the matches and I do all the "behind the scenes" stuff, like preparing healthy snacks and making sure they have water/Gatorade, extra socks, blankets, jackets etc. My daughters understand and like it when they come home to a hot meal after a match. It works for our family! Leyla Hernandez
Claire January 24, 2013 at 02:33 PM
Ladies, really? you're missing out on a wonderful part of your kids lives and a great part of being a parent. If your "goal" is for your kids to never fail, then your expectations are unrealistic. How stressful! kids grow up too fast and you can never get those day back. Just enjoy and encourage them!

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