How often do we mourn for the missed opportunities for our tween? And really, what are those feelings that tied do?
How often do we mourn for the missed opportunities for our tween? And really, what is that tied do?
I'm struggling with this today. My son was just invited to join a Regional Tour Choir. This is a private, local children's choir that he's been a part of for the past three years. Until now, his participation has been in local concerts, but next year he would have the opportunity to travel around the country and possibly internationally.
I see it as a huge opportunity and just something to be proud of. But, he doesn't want to do it. He's moving into middle school next year and is ready to let this go. He knows some other boys (older) who are participated in this opportunity but he's not interested. He loves to sing and has a beautiful voice, but the draw is not there.
And I am devastated.
My parent mind is looking forward to the opportunities that participation could bring. My heart is looking back at my childhood self, the girl who also loved to sing and perform, and how much an opportunity like this would have meant to me.
Moreso, I'm reflecting on my own decision to quit choir and go in a different direction and how I have often wondered what if I hadn't.
This is hard.
I don't want to make the call to turn this down for him, but I have to do so. I am struggling to hold back tears - but those tears are really my own inner tween struggling with this decision for me.
But, it's not about me in this case. It's about my son and allowing him to choose his own path.
As parents, we do need to have boundaries for our kids, and in this case, we do. If he doesn't do choir then he will need to choose a different extracurricular activity to participate in.
We cannot choose for them. That choice is part of the emerging identity and to push the issue begins the path of them feeling unseen.
So, I will make the call. I might wait until after school just to ask one more time, but I will make the call. And I will support the next adventure he chooses and cheer him on. Because it's that what we do as parents.
Sometimes we have to set aside our own dreams for our kids to allow a more authentic path to reveal itself and then jump on board for the ride.
It's not easy, but it is how it needs to be.