Friday, September 14, 2012
My 13-year-old daughter loves theater. She also loves basketball. She's played basketball through the years, but opted to do theater last year. During the summer she decided she wanted to play basketball this year. Her best friends also play basketball and they hoped to make the same team. We moms had already talked about sharing rides and doing the basketball season together. Last week, she went to open gym at our local elementary school to practice. She hadn't played for a while and wanted to get in some practice. Another mom very kindly offered to feed her dinner and take her to open gym with her daughter. When my daughter got home I asked her how open gym was. She said a father that was there with his daughter and his daughter both told her she should stick with theater and forget about basketball. The result? She decided she won't be playing basketball this year. Why do parents say things like this? To a 13-year-old. Even if it's true, keep your mouth shut. Comments like this only serve to hurt a kid's self-confidence. Being 13 is hard enough. Listening to rude comments from peers is hard enough. But from an adult? She was already self-conscious about playing and this comment shredded her. She's actually a pretty good player. She's tall and was often the high scorer when she played two years ago. And she loves to play. But now, even though I've told her that father was wrong and she shouldn't listen to him, it doesn't matter. She's not going to play.