Teddy and Murphy take tennis lessons a few days a week after school. The lessons are very mellow, close to our house and the kids have a lot of fun. Lately when I pick Teddy up from school he always asks what we are doing. If he has tennis he pitches a fit. I have been ignoring his behavior. Normally Teddy has a blast at tennis, and I use to always think ignore his attitude when I pick him up from school. He will perk up once he's at tennis. Then I thought to myself, why should I be treated poorly for picking my son up from school and driving him to tennis? And last Thursday I changed my tune. We pay a lot of money for his tennis lessons. I had mentioned last week that I didn't like his attitude about after school activities when I picked him up from school. I told him there needed to be a change. And I asked him if he wanted to continue with tennis and soccer. He said yes. So I picked him up from school yesterday and he hummed and hawed about tennis. I said, 'no tennis today.' He was stoked, he said I'm going to watch TV in the lobby. I told him he would be sitting on the bench watching his tennis lesson. He sat their quietly and watched tennis for 45 minutes. He didn't ask to join, he just sat their and watched.
After tennis, we talked about it a little bit. He said sitting on the bench was boring and he didn't want to sit there again. I want him to understand it's not free, it's an opportunity and a privledge to go. I want our children to respect their lives. I'm not going to drive kids all over town for activities they bitch and moan about doing. I am not going to pay a bunch of money and waste a bunch of time to push a child to do a sport/activity they are bitching and moaning about all the time.
The following Tuesday I picked Teddy up from school and he asked what we were doing and I said tennis. He smiled and kept on walking to the car. His attitude has been that way ever since.
So what's my take away here? This is not my first time at this circus. Ian use to bitch and moan about going to soccer. And this was a time when I was pregnant, had an infant and a one year old. Loading those two and myself in the car and then picking up four other boys for soccer carpool was a lot of work. I finally said to Ian, he either stops with the bad attitude or finds his own ride to soccer because I'm not driving him to soccer anymore with his attitude. He didn't bitch and moan about it again. It's your call parents, but you do not and should not be carting children to activities they are complaining about, life's too short.