DEAR COACH RICHIE: My 11 year old son is having a play and he has told me very strongly that he does not want me or his father there. I have tried talking with him about it but he will not tell us the reason why. I’m guessing it’s because he’s afraid of messing up in front of us, but he won’t tell us. Are we pressuring our child? I can’t tell you how sad this makes me. I mean all parents go to their kids activities. I’m paying for the costume and I feel like I have a right to go see him. Should we honor his ask? We’d probably be the only parents not there.
COACH RICHIE: That is the question. Are you pressuring your child? What do you think the reason is for him to be afraid of messing up? Was there an incident in the past that he is pulling from that would make him hesitant? What about if you had a conversation with him about a time in your past or present when you messed up? Our children sometimes look at us like GOD’s. we are perfect we never make mistakes. When we show them we aren’t perfect sometimes that is enough to open the door to allow them to be vulnerable as well. Boys are typically raised to hide their emotions because they have to be strong.
I have no idea what the dynamic is in your house. But my house was we couldn’t show any sign of weakness. However, if you open up a little bit about a personal experience where you messed up he will see that he is not alone and we all mess up and it never matters. It would be also great if his dad shared something like this. All he wants is your approval and doesn’t want to disappoint anyone. Just one more thing.You mentioned because you are paying for the costume that you have the right to see him in the play? Do you believe that is true? Do you really believe that this is our right as a parent just because we pay for something for them? So when we purchase something for our kids it comes with conditions? I don’t think they are really aware of that.
I did it with my kids when they were younger not even knowing I was doing it. What do you think he needs to hear from you and his dad right now? What do you think he is really afraid of? What would you need if you were in his shoes? Hope you find something here that helps. We can love them or control them but we can’t do both. 🤘
All my love and support on your parenting Journey
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