Living vicariously

She lives vicariously through her children.  Ever heard that term before?  I have.  I have used it myself.  It was never meant as a compliment.

We all have the friends who do this.  They put their tomboy girls in dance because they did it. They want their kids to be “popular” because they were.  Son wants to play an instrument in the marching band yet is forced into football.  The kids are generally unhappy and the parents by and large aren’t that much fun to be around either.  I certainly don’t want to be that parent.

I don’t think it is that difficult to see what a child enjoys or doesn’t enjoy.  What is challenging as a parent is making them do something you know they enjoy when they don’t want to do it.

I am a terrible dancer.  Trust me on this one.  I even cringe a little at the consideration that dance may be a sport.  It isn’t something I ever saw myself wanting for my girls.  And then I had Sophie.

Sophie loves music.  She loves to sing.  And she loves to dance.  She often combines singing and dancing with normal daily activities.  Such as brushing her teeth, cleaning her room and even eating dinner.  If there were ever an Olympic sport that entailed eating chips and salsa while dancing, Sophie would take home the gold.  I think she has rhythm.

I enrolled her in hip hop two years ago.  She took 7 classes before the studio went belly up.  I was worried about her reaction and promised her I would find a new place right away.  Her response?  “I really don’t want to take dance lessons”.  She has quit soccer and girl scouts and only wants to swim.  I never have to beg her to go to practice, she can’t wait for meets and is always looking for ways to sneak into a more advanced practice group.  She is a great swimmer and loves it.  You would think all is well.

I still think that child needs to dance.  I bring it up from time to time and she is dismissive of it.  This Thursday there is a free demo class at a studio near the pool.  I suggested she go try it out.  She reminded me that Thursday is when she sneaks into the Juniors practice and since practice is cancelled this Sunday she needs to swim Thursday.

As a parent, I never saw myself in this situation, one where I am trying to force my child to do something SHE loves and I don’t!

I don’t know what you would call this or how you would judge me for it but if you want to, go for it.  It has me scratching my head.



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