pushing past the hard........

i am in a situation that i am unsure how to handle - or rather i don't know if i handled it correctly.

my son is 10 and is beginning the process to receive confirmation. he is supposed to go to a retreat tonite for all the confirmands. he came home from school adamant about not going. i told him it was mandatory. he continued to insist he wasn't going. i tried to reason with him - telling him that confirmation is about growing up and making hard adult decisions. if he really can't make this decision then he isn't' ready for confirmation. he flipped about that and said he is ready - he just doesn't want to go to this retreat. i asked him why the change b/c he was really excited about going when i first told him about it. his reason? he doesn't know anybody and it looks boring and its hard. i told him he has no problem meeting people and the purpose of this is getting to know the kids he'll spend 3 years with and that he does know them b/c they've been in his sunday school class forever. and plus the acitivites planned are fun!..............therefore that isn't a strong enough reason to back out. he wasn't changing his mind.

so i explained to him that once you start not doing something b/c its "hard" then it will get easier and easier to not do something simply b/c its hard. and that if he chooses to become that person that is fine - b/c there are millions of people out there who live their lives like that....and they are fine. but the people who succeed are those that push past the "hard".

i reminded him that it doesn't matter what person he becomes b/c we'll love and support him no matter what.

now here is the deal......
he is only 10 and much too young to know the type of person he'll be and he is too young to be expected to choose the type of person he'll become............i think

he has already quit baseball b/c it was hard - and now he wants to not do this b/c its hard........and the pattern worries me.
but again - he is only 10.............

i don't want him to quit and keep quitting...but is it too early to make that type of judgement? by quitting this - will that make him a quitter?

most importantly, i don't' want to guilt him into thinking he should be a person who doesn't quit.......b/c so what if he is......i am

yet at 41 i am constantly trying to NOT be that person............and you know parents want kids to learn from their mistakes!!!

so i have had my say with him. he is at soccer practice now. i am just letting it go now and not saying anything more unless he wants to talk more about it.
through all of this though i am grateful. i am blessed to have a mature (sometimes too mature) son for his age - someone i can talk to and reason with and know that he is understanding my point of view.....even when he doesn't agree with it. i am so grateful that i "have him" for 8 more years under my wing so we can continue to have these discussions....of course i hope he'll always come to me to discuss situations - but for now i know he'll be around awhile longer........
i know i don't have alot of followers - but if you are reading this - what is your advice/opinion...to me?


  1. I can only imagine how hard this is. On the one hand, I totally understand not feeling comfortable with allowing him to walk away from something, especially when the only reason that he may be doing so is because it is not enjoyable. On the other hand, pushing children never works. The only words I could offer you would be to try and see if there is something more there, which I am betting is a challenge. The age of ten is when a lot of insecurity begins to happen for boys, so perhaps there is something about the situation that he is uncomfortable with.

    You seem to have said all the right things, and that is probably the most important thing that you could have done. Letting him understand the consequences of "quitting", and then allowing him to make his own choice sounds like wonderful parenting to me :)

  2. I agree with Heather. When I read this as an outsider, I felt like there was something else there. It could be a small something (everything seems big to a kid) like another kid called him a name or a big something like a serious bully or mean counselor. I would try to talk to him one more time. Ask leading questions and let him talk. "I'm really concerned that you're going to miss out on a really great experience here. I really want to know how you're feeling. What's stopping you? You can tell me anything, etc." As a Mother of 2 small boys (2 & 5) I feel your pain and worry it will be mine someday. I hope it works out for you guys.

  3. This is hard. My son is 3.5 so I haven't had these sorts of issues at all. But I have taught older kids for years, and heather is right that you can't force a kid to do anything.

    Maybe you could talk to the leaders of his Sunday school or who ever will be there that weekend and tell them the situation. Maybe they will have insight into personality conflicts if there are any between your son and other children in his class. And maybe they can describe some of the fun things that they will be doing. Let us know how things turn out.

  4. It sounds like something else may be going on if he was excited about it before. Maybe a really relaxed outing or quiet time to just talk. No pressure...just you and him talking. My thoughts are with you. Parenting can be so hard!


  5. i'm with the other moms who think you should talk one more time and try to find out if there is anything deeper than just that he decided he doesn't want to go. (and maybe to involved adults.)

    if you can't see any other reason than that he just doesn't want to go, i think you should have him go and have an understanding of a time you'll check in with him to see how it's going. he'll probably get there and have a great time!

    and it sounds like you could tell him that there will be things all his life that he won't necessarily want to do, but that if he has the right attitude, even something that's not first choice can turn out pretty well!

  6. i know i'm getting in a little late on this, but i remember an overnight church-related experience that left me in shambles because i wore the wrong (see through, too short, old) pajamas. i had no clue! you never know.