What would Momzilla do?
My third grader procrastinated on a huge project for school. Assigned for weeks, it was due on Thursday. She started working on it Tuesday night. When it quickly became clear that she was not going to finish quickly, we told her that she would not be able to skate on Wednesday.
Yes. We prioritized schoolwork WAY above skating. Will they make me turn in my Momzilla membership card?
In all fairness to my baseline crazy, I did have moments of panic that she was missing out on already scarce training time in preparation for her next competition. At least I was fully aware of my irrational thought processes as I did what I knew was the right thing. (Moreover, in the interest of full disclosure, my husband was the first to declare the skating embargo.)
As I shared my experiences with one of my child's coaches, he reported that he would have had to stay up all night to do the work and still skated. (Actually, I believe that he may have claimed to never procrastinate as a young person. Knowing him now, I find that just a bit difficult to swallow, but that's another story.) Another skating parent told me the same thing today. In fact, I was told of a 4th grader who had to stay up until 2 a.m. to finish schoolwork, after skating all afternoon and evening, then went to school half asleep the next day. At age 10. Yikes!
In our household, school comes first, without question. Skating is a privilege that is easily lost.
My hope is that our children's dedication and responsibility to their activities will complement and enhance their dedication and responsibility to their work of learning. I hope that my children will attack everything in their life with an expectation of excellence, which is why I like to encourage goal setting and challenge in all their activities. I do not like to send the message that skating is something that can be approached with less than gusto. At the same time, I would never dream of promoting extracurricular work over academic excellence. I know that there is a balance, and that achieving the right balance will provide the tools for a successful life.
Is that a lot to ask of a parent? Is that a lot to expect of a young child?
You bet. And that's why psychiatrists do so very well.