Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Play ball!

There is some background you need to know before we get to the meat of this post (and the pictures, of course). Last fall, when we signed Carter up for soccer, he literally screamed and threw a tantrum the entire way to his first practice. He was dead set convinced that he wouldn't enjoy it and wouldn't be any good at it. He refused to participate for the first 10 minutes. Then, he tried it. And decided he liked it! Plus, he was pretty darn good at it!

So, I had this bright idea that I wouldn't tell Carter that he would be playing tee-ball. I just packed him up in the car and drove him there. When he realized what he was in for, he became sullen. He pulled me down and whispered in my ear - You tricked me!! Uh oh. Yeah, I felt like crap.

Once again, he refused to participate. He wouldn't even stand with his team (which included three of his best school buds!). We kept trying to conjole him into just trying it. He just cried and refused to budge. Then, one of the coaches asked him to run the bases with him. And well, he knows he can run, so he did it! And from that point on was really into it!

Introducing Carter, #2 for the Orioles!

Running the bases with Coach!

Learning to throw the ball - he had great form!

Learning to catch the ball - a huge accomplishment considering heretofore he's only closed his eyes and put his hands over his face when a ball was thrown at him!

It was really so cute. We're really excited to watch Carter play this season, and progress and grow!

I do, however, keep wondering how I should have handled the situation from the start. It frustrates me that Carter won't even try anything that he doesn't already know he's good at. I'm just not sure how to handle it.

Carter asked me why I tricked him the other day (kids never forget anything). I told him that I hoped he'd see his friends and think it would be fun. His response? Well, that didn't work out so well, now did it. You're plan blew up! Yeah, he may not have a good dose of courage, but the kid has a lot of sauce!

How would you have handled it?


  1. It's fine what you did with Carter- you were just trying another avenue. That's what parenting is all about- trying different things to see what will work with each kid. If it had worked then you wouldn't be second guessing yourself. Carter just needs to try stuff out before jumping in- I'm the same way. If I can't be perfect at it then I don't want to do it! Lol!

  2. glad he liked t-ball. I was reading an article the other day in nurture shock that was talking about how really smart kids often are reluctant to try something new if they don't already know they'll be good at it. The authors suggested praising children for trying hard, trying something new and being open to it instead of directly praising them for how smart they are or quickly they picked up the skill. I don't know if it works but food for thought. FWIW, I think you're doing a great job. Just keep exposing him to new things and maybe eventually he won't be so nervous about it.

  3. Becca - I feel like I need to re-read Nuture Shock again! And take notes. SO much amazing information in there!! I do remember reading that now.

    Honestly, I think you may have hit the nail on the head. Carter IS a very intelligent boy, and we DO praise him a LOT. We've gotta stop doing that and start praising the effort!!!