Immy is currently rehearsing for her very first competition dancing solo. She has danced in one comp before – in two group numbers, but this time she is going solo! She has been training for months and seems quietly confident but I am just a bundle of nerves. Based on our experience at the last competition, she doesn’t really let on how she is feeling, staying quiet and reserved. Unfortunately, I can tend to over-compensate – being nervous enough for the both of us and (last time) asking way too often how she was feeling.
We want the best for our children. We want them to be successful, whatever path they choose to follow. And maybe, just maybe, for some of us our own feelings of success as parents are all wrapped up in their success too. Unfortunately, this desire for them to be successful, and even our simple, well meaning desire for them to be happy, can lead to us applying unnecessary, and often unintended, pressure. Our children so often take their cues from us. Our positive (or negative) attitude or emotional state can make all the difference to how they feel about themselves and their own abilities.
So as we count down the days until D-ance Day with last minute rehearsals and plenty of practice, I am reminding myself that as a parent I can champion my child without being her coach. I am not Immy’s dance coach, I am her mum. As Rachel of Hands Free Mama shared in this post, taking the pressure off our children gives them the opportunity to relax and enjoy their pursuits knowing that we believe in them, that we see them and love them and that ultimately, that is enough. And thanks to six little words, I will let her know that I believe in her and that she’s got this.
So this weekend, I will be watching, undoubtedly with tears of pride, and I will be saying, “I love to watch you dance.”
And for me, I’ll be learning to let go just a little bit more, and understanding that being that best parent I can be, is about raising my children to be confident, capable individuals who believe in themselves.