More Kids = Happier Kids
I often write about sports and the importance I believe they have had in helping my husband & I raise our children into the hard-working, independent, goal-oriented and resilient people they are. Sports teach life skills that truly will help them be able to accomplish any goal they set in front of them as they go forward.
BUT a funny thought came to my husband and I as we spent our Friday night together watching our 2 youngest compete at the Provincial Championships in their newest sport - Track & Field. We thought “THANK GOODNESS THERE ARE FOUR OF THEM”.
Why you ask? Because we are a COMPETITIVE and INTENSE couple. We are both driven and goal-oriented and like to experience success. Whether that is beating each other (or our kids) in board games, a game of 21 in basketball, or Jeopardy on TV, we have NEVER let one of our kids beat us or let the other spouse win, just because we wanted that person to feel better. That’s not how we roll. And yes, that meant I spent a lot of time with crying and upset children who didn’t like losing to me over and over again when they were three.
So, as we observed and chatted about the families around us at the track meet, the families with only one child or the families with only one or two children competing in sports…we realized how different and challenging it would be to be our child if there was only one of them. Only one child to focus on. Only one child to push and motivate. Only one child to watch succeed and fail.
Having FOUR children means we don’t have time to focus on any one of their success or failures for too long. We are quickly moving on to the next child and their events, their successes, their failures. No one gets to wallow in self-pity for too long. No one gets to gloat and feel important for too long. Four children means a 4x dilution in the attention, the intensity and the competitiveness that comes with the pressure, the celebration and the defeat of being in sports.
And we think that is healthy. Because in the end, these moments in time are just that, moments. Moments that show them how their hard work has paid off in best times, good grades or games won. Moments that show them that sometimes, in spite of how hard you think you worked, someone else worked harder. Moments that show them sometimes it just doesn’t work out, for a reason none of us can figure out. That’s life. Those are the lessons that sports are teaching our children and us
So, if you and your partner have been called intense, competitive or success driven, and reproducing comes easy to you…maybe think about having a big family if you can. Dilute that passion, that intensity and that competitiveness you both have and we know that your kids will thank you.