One of the hardest things for me to do as a parent is to deliberately allow my kids to fail. It’s so hard that sometimes I need to walk out of the room so I don’t end up intervening and bailing them out.
Of course, I would never, ever allow my kids to fail if it puts them in any sort of danger. That’s just a no-brainer. But making mistakes is a part of life and, if viewed from the perspective of learning how to make life easier the next time, then making mistakes becomes a powerful learning tool.
As a result of having to walk out of the room several times this past week, Nathan has learned to register his soccer reffing availability early in the week, not on the last day.
Nathan needs money. Gas money. He loves the freedom that a car brings but there’s a price that comes with it. A real easy way for him to earn a lot of money is by reffing soccer on Saturdays. He can earn upwards of $20 for each game he refs by choosing the right games.
But before he can ref any of the games, he needs to sign in online and choose the games. Ryan had picked his games on Monday. As a result, he had first pick of pretty much any game he wanted.
Although I reminded Nathan to pick his games, as well, he procrastinated. All week I was sending mind vibes to him because I knew he needed the money. The longer he waited the greater the chance that he wouldn’t have any games to ref.
I also knew that if I kept reminding him, I would be putting myself in the position of always having to remind him, and he would come to expect it. That’s why I found myself walking out of the room several times when soccer somehow entered the conversation.
It wasn’t until Thursday night at 9 p.m. that Nathan finally hopped on the computer to sign up for games. And low and behold, there weren’t many games left that needed refs. Not only that, they were spread out during the day, unlike the back-to-back games that Ryan had signed up for.
Ryan made $70 reffing on Saturday. Nathan made $35. In addition, Nathan spent a lot of gas money driving from one field to another and “wasting” time in between waiting.
It’s Sunday today. Nathan has already signed up for games next week. And I never had to say a word. Sometimes being a parent is really hard. But sometimes it’s the hard parts that end up making it really easy.