It’s All in Front of Them

by Ray Colon on December 12, 2012 · 5 comments

It was a packed house for the 5Th and 6TH grade Winter Chorus at my daughter’s school.
The children put on a good show.

As they enthusiastically performed, I started to think of all of the potential that was packed onto that stage. Not the American Idol type of potential that is pervasive in our society, but the type of potential that says, “It’s all in front of them.”

How many of them will become doctors or lawyers? How many of them will pursue their dreams as vigorously as they belted out those holiday tunes? How many will become parents themselves?

I was seated near the front and I turned to look at all of the parents watching their children. I could almost see the hope in their eyes.

Our children really are the best things about us.

Dealing with Disappointment

My daughter had tried out for a solo. She is outgoing and confident and participates in many extracurricular activities. She was disappointed when she wasn’t selected for one of the brief solo parts, but that disappointment didn’t last long, nor was it discernible during the performance. There will be other shows, and she’ll be there, trying her best, as always.

Working through our children’s disappointments is more difficult than working through our own. We’ve had those experiences ourselves, so we can more easily differentiate the severity of each episode, whereas to them, disappointments all feel the same, at least for a little while.

When my daughter at college calls, feeling overwhelmed, I want to help – but there isn’t much that I can do – so I listen. When a class is not going well, and the desperation in her voice is palpable, I talk her down by reminding her to keep the situation in perspective. The pressure to succeed is real, but that reality should never be allowed to affect us so disproportionately as to shatter our resolve.

The Cheerleader and The Coach

During these times, my wife is more of a cheerleader, whereas my approach resembles that of a coach. She cheers our daughters on unwaveringly and I teach them how to deal with what’s ahead when the cheering stops. In this, I think that we make a good team. Of course, we switch roles from time to time, but invariably we revert to what we are each most comfortable with – the cheerleader and the coach.

The hope is that the different types of support that we provide will enable our girls to meet each challenge that arises, now and in the future, in a balanced way.

Author Bio:

Ray Colon has written 167 posts on Ray's Blog.

He works with numbers for a living, but don't judge - boring accountants need love too. His blog has no niche (unless writing about things that are important to him is a niche). Some folks cringe when he gets “all political” on them, but he does it anyway when he's in that kind of mood. Sometimes, he writes something nice about someone, but you shouldn't get used to that. His first book, the one he hasn't written yet, is not available on Amazon. Subscribe to Ray's Blog via RSS  or Email.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Tristan December 12, 2012 at 9:37 pm

I love this post. I like the cheerleader and coach analogy too. Sometimes when life gets overwhelming or frustrating or whatever, all anyone really needs is for someone to listen. Sometimes problems work themselves out just by being aired out to a patient listener. Good job, Dad!

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Ray Colon December 12, 2012 at 9:58 pm

Hi Tristan,

Thanks, I’m sure that she appreciates the listening, but I know that what she really wants is for me to just make it go away. Her last two exams are tomorrow, so that’s a good thing.

I think that bringing together different styles to address problems works at home just as it does in business. Sometimes I take the lead, but at other times things work out better when I take a back seat. The trick, for me, is to figure out which is appropriate at the time.

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Tristan December 12, 2012 at 11:44 pm

Her whole life is in front of her whether she passes the exams or not. I’m sending her happy thoughts and good vibes for her exams.

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Jean December 15, 2012 at 5:48 pm

I hope the best for your girls. So important that both you and your wife have complementary support styles for your daughters. What is your daughter studying in college?
Jean recently posted..Christmas Haiku MeditationsMy Profile

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Ray Colon December 16, 2012 at 9:11 am

Hi Jean,

Thanks. They’re both doing great at these very different stages of their lives. She is studying speech pathology and looks forward to helping children when she’s done.

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