After a recent run in with an assistant coach on Bubby's baseball team, I have been trying to make sense of the lesson I need to learn from it. Our parenting style has always been a little more laid back. We purposefully try not to shield our children from the world, but try to use each instance as a learning opportunity. On the flip side, we don't intentionally expose them either, but our main objective is to raise self reliant children that have confidence in themselves and their abilities and to be thoughtful and kind to those around them.
Back to the baseball saga, one coach in particular would try to adjust Bubby's swing and stance in the middle of his bat. I could see my son getting rattled and could see that most of the time, the coach was telling him opposite of what he should be doing. He's been playing long enough to know where to stand in the box. I asked one of the helper dads to pass the message on to please stop adjusting him while at bat. The coach then proceeded to call me over to the dugout and chew me out. In front of all the players and the parents telling me that he heard the calls I was giving him (all I ever say is to watch the ball and you can do it) and that I was a terrible coach and he sees my son getting all emotional because of me. He continued on and I again repeated my request with no judgement attached. Finally I had enough and just walked off. After the fact I find out that he has quite a reputation and I am not the first that he has attacked or even the first that day.
I've been mulling over the lesson in this for me. I finally realized something that is probably so obvious to all parents, I just must be really slow on the uptake. There are adults in this world that are involved in helping children to serve their own needs and not the needs of the children. My job is step in when those situations arise and be my child's advocate. That is not a life lesson they should learn on their own. Looking back, I wish I had done more to help him with his teacher last year who was down right evil. I wish I had stood up to her and the school to tell them it was not ok in addition to just telling my son that sometimes you get teachers (or bosses) that are not nice and you just have to bear it. I wish I had done more. Finding the right balance will be a challenge, but no one knows Bubby better than his father and I and he needs to know that we are his advocate.
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