Wednesday, September 17, 2014

You Reap What You Sow: Thoughts on Parenting

My friend stopped by to ask if our family was going to enter a team in the Didi Hirsch Alive and Running Walk/Run for Suicide Prevention. It's the sort of thing we would do, except that I'm in Kansas City that weekend with the kids from Gompers and Ronda is in Brazil right now so I don't know what her plans are. Maria is busy being pregnant.

It's possible that Jenn, Julia and Jessica might enter. I will have to ask them. Then, my friend said,

"You are such a good mother. Your children turned out so well. You should write a parenting book."

There are a couple of reasons not to do that. The main one is that I am really busy working on building another company right now. My day job is making games to teach math, and I really like doing it.

Then there is the fact that Julia is only 16. Although she looks like a winner so far, who knows, maybe she will ride a motorcycle through the school gym tomorrow wearing nothing but a shit-eating grin. All indications are to the opposite, but one thing I know for sure is that there are no guarantees in life.  [Julia: If you are reading this - don't even think about it. I will skin you alive and tack your hide over the front door as a reminder to your nieces not to be so stupid. - Love, Mom]

That being said, to a large extent, whether it is parenting, sports or business, you sow what you reap. My children aren't perfect, I'm not perfect and there have been times when I wanted to smack them upside the head.

Throughout their lives, though, I have tried my best to always put my children first. Sometimes it might not have seemed that way to them, if I was flying to Washington instead of helping them with a science project, but I sincerely believed that the money I made for private schools, universities, was more important. I also thought having a role model of a mother who had a career would be a benefit to them.

I suspect that when Ronda was young she resented the fact that I did not fly around the world and coach her, nor did I take out loans to pay for her competition around the world or a lot of other things some other parents did. There was a reason behind that. With three other children, I was not willing to sacrifice all of the time with  them and the amount of money we would lose from me not working.

I had seen families where everyone focused on one child who was supposed to be gifted - and maybe was - to the detriment of the others. It never seemed to turn out well for anyone. The "gifted" child felt pressured but also entitled and the other children felt cheated. The parents are resentful the favored child doesn't appreciate it. I could go on - it's just a hot mess.

Maybe my book would be very short if I ever wrote it - Do what you believe is best for your children, even if it's a lot of work, even if you really would rather do something else at the time.

Actually, that would be pretty much my same advice whether it is winning in judo or building a business. Do what you think is most likely to achieve that goal - even when you're tired, even when you don't feel like it.

If you are right even most of the time that this drill, tournament, proposal or design is what you should be doing, then in the end all of that sowing will pay off.


Rick Matz said...

You do the best that you can, mostly by example, and it's still a roll of the dice.

Marvin Shealy said...

Dr. AnnMaria

I would like to get your insight on the A. Peterson turmoil that is in the news right now. I know from first hand experience that getting a whipping with a switch freshly cut from a tree was common place when I was growing up. Hell my mother would make you go cut it yourself. I am 62 now and I thought it was excessive then and I still do. What say you.

Segan said...

I have been reading your blog for a few months now and really enjoy it. This is another great post! You are a great role model for me as well :)

Anonymous said...

I just viewed of Ronda rolling with Gilbert Melendez. Gilbert was relaxed and taking it easy; Ronda was getting a little frustrated and started to apply herself. The video showed that if they both went at it 100 percent, Gilbert could easily overpower Ronda. If they were to fight MMA style, Ronda wouldn't last over a minute.

Ronda does all this bragging that she can beat anybody is a total JOKE. She would get destroyed by trained MMA men. There are also some women Ronda hasn't fought yet, that would knock her out in a stand up fight (e.g., Holly Holmes, etc.) Stop lying Ronda.

Dr. AnnMaria said...

Let's see, you made your assumption based on Ronda's workout the first day she was medically cleared to go back to practice doing a light work out with someone. You are entitled to your opinion that there is somewhere out there who can beat Ronda.

She is equally entitled to her opinion that there is not. Why that outrages you is an interesting question.

Marvin -
I don't believe in hitting children except in the most egregious circumstances. I have four children and have administered exactly 3 'whippings' in 32 years. There wasn't much whipping involved in one of those, I swatted the child on the butt and told her not to do it ever again.

Rick Matz said...

I like how "Anonymous" can criticize Ronda, but not use his own name.

Way to man up.

mike ripple said...

The haters and detractors just can't stay away from this blog...and they get more lame every day. Don't you know what happens to athletes as finely tuned as wrestlers or a MMA fighters who don't train for almost 3 months??
Unless you have been that sort of athlete you would have no why comment??
Just because you can, I guess,...and want to evoke a vitriolic response.


Anonymous said...

I agree with Rick. I treated all my (now adult) children essentially the same (of course, different kids have different needs). I have one kid I'm very tight with, a couple who never speak to me, and a couple who seem undecided. Total crap shoot.

Dr. AnnMaria said...

As far as one child you speak with, two you don't - as I said, anonymous, there are no guarantees.