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Missing the Teaching Moment

Last week Jane had a school soccer game. The night before I’d reminded her to pack her soccer bag and school bag, and to leave it all at the front door.

I got a, “Yes Mom.” And then she did whatever she wanted. She is twelve after all.

The soccer game was at 3.30 and I showed up at school at 3. Jane came running at me, “Mom I forgot my cleats can you run home and get them?”

“Yes I can, but I won’t. You’ll have to play in your school shoes.” I said.

“But the ref won’t let me play in these shoes.” And she tugged on my arm.

“Then you’ll sit on the sidelines and watch your team play. This will probably be the last time you ever forget to your cleats.” Was my firm but┬ácompassionate┬áreply.

“Mo-om, please mom please they can’t play without me. Moooooooommmmmmm.” She was begging.

Just then her coach walked by, and asked what the problem was. “My Mom can’t get my soccer shoes so I can’t play.”

“Correction.” I said to him, “I can get her soccer shoes but I won’t. She forgot her shoes so you’ll have a cheerleader today.”

And then the coach went to the trunk of his car and pulled out a pair of cleats for Jane to borrow.

Our version of the right thing is wildly divergent.

7 thoughts on “Missing the Teaching Moment”

    1. No, he was busy with a dozen tween girls barking commands at him from “I need sunscreen” to “do you have hair rubber bands”.

      It was too frenzied a moment to expect anyone to get the subtext in anything.

  1. I see this as being a bit more complex and I’ll tell you why. As a parent I am always looking for teaching moments and I applaud other parents for doing so too. As a coach it drives me crazy when the kids aren’t prepared for practice and or games.

    The dilemma I see stems from the responsibility I have to my team and the one that my players have to each other. Sometimes the teaching moment for one child has an adverse affect upon the rest of the team. If one of my players has to sit out it changes the dynamic and I have to weigh the cost and benefit of letting that happen.

    At the same time it is not my place to blatantly contradict a parent’s wishes so…

  2. I bet she’ll remember them next time….you got your point across. My kids are younger, but I HOPE that I can do this kind of thing when the time comes. I have to remind my 6 year old 12 times every morning that he needs to grab his backpack and coat. It gets OLD.

    Good job.

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