I just read a post on BlackBeltMama's blog where she bemoans that you can't always get what you want. Specifically, she's frustrated that her young daughter is "just not that into karate". Parenting can be full of frustrations.
Frankly, I feel if we get any satisfaction, we're way above par.
I've always felt that it's an impossible job to find a balance between how much "guidance" to provide the kids and how much to let them follow their own interests. How pleased to be about anything that makes them happy (don't ask me about video game playing and insect dissecting) and how much to pressure for "productive exercises".
My story about kids and sports has a funny twist on it all.
As background, I've been a lifelong soccer player. I lived in England from 2nd through 4th grade and when I got back to the States, I never caught up with my friends who had a few years of little league and football experience. But in 8th grade, my junior high launched a soccer team and I decided to try out for it. There was no sports pressure from my folks at all, I just tried out, made the team, and found my "thing".
I played competitively until my early 40s. These soccer team pictures are my high school team, my town team from my years in the PeaceCorps in West Africa, and the third picture is a team that I played on in my mid 30s in California.
As soon as my own kids were old enough, I enrolled them in soccer. I'd kicked with them from the time that they could stand and kick, watched world cup games with them on TV, and coached their teams.
Yet, only an occasional flicker of interest from them and no particular aptitude. My college teammates have kids playing at very competitive levels but mine put up with soccer for a few seasons but then, worked their way out of it. I was a little disappointed.
My point: parental impact is rarely what we expect. Until the two girls showed interest in karate (following me in), I had been thinking about getting some tattoos and piercings since I was pretty sure if Dad had them, the kids wouldn't get them. Or date men (or women) with them.