Kovatch: The path is theirs
By Chris Kovatch
I struggle with my children’s motivation on a number of items, but one is harder than most. Participation. Being part of something. Being part of anything. I often joke that I have no hobbies other than volunteering, but it is what I enjoy doing. I can’t comprehend not wanting to be part of something. Growing up and also at the present I have issues turning down service activities. I have gotten better as of late of dialing back my commitments, but they will always be there in some form or fashion.
Then this morning while I was getting ready for work I heard the words I have longed for one of my children to say.
“I signed up to participate in UIL in Math and Creative Writing.”
Thank you Thayer! Thank you so much! Finally my obsession with activities has rubbed off on one of the offspring. You see my kids are all strong in a variety of areas. The older kiddos are quite the trio.
Jackson, while motivation is always a struggle, has a mind that is so unique and picks up things in school so easily. It all comes back to him making the decision to do it. I have no idea where he gets that.
Rosie’s commitment and drive to school is evident in her performance. She does have struggles and they affect her way more than they do us. When she brings home a less than perfect grade, she is harder on herself that I could ever be or want to be.
And then there is Thayer. The silent one. He surprises you. His wit, innocence, and intelligence give him a personality like I have never encountered. You can’t help but smile when you interact with him. Side note: do not make him mad. Consider that your warning.
They all three have the ability, but the desire is different. They don’t all rank activities like I do. I am slowly coming to terms with that fact. It is a struggle for me, but one that is important for me to overcome. My job is not to recreate me. My role as a parent is to raise children who can operate on their own and make decisions based on what they know as right and wrong. These days I see a lot parents ‘fighting’ their kids battles. While I have urge to throw myself into solving every problem they have, I have to remember that isn’t always the right reaction. If I handle all of life’s issues for them, then they will never learn how to handle bumps in the road when they occur. They all know that Christi and I are there to support them in whatever way we can and all they have to do is ask.
I want my children to grow up to be amazing and caring adults, but they have to get that point, not me. I will always be more than willing to give them a nudge or piece of advice (whether they ask for it or not), but in the end the path is theirs. The journey is up to them. I just feel blessed that I am along for the ride.