When my analytical kindergartener heard Chess Club was being offered as an after school activity; it was all he could talk about for weeks. I eagerly signed him up because chess is more than a game; it is a way of thinking strategically. He did miss the first class because it was Rosh Hashanah and although I contacted the company to express my concern that he would be behind, they didn’t seem to care. (Would you schedule a first class on New Year’s or Good Friday?)
After his first day, my boy left bouncing down the hallway with an ear to ear smile on his face. When I asked if he had fun at Chess Club; he excitedly told me he got a cookie at the end. The cookie was supposedly shaped like a chess board, but still that was all he took away from the hour.
The next Thursday I got a call that my child had a stomachache and needed to be picked up early from Chess Club.
The Thursday after that he was in tears as I walked up the stairs to pick him up.
Then he told me he was made fun of for being easy to beat.
This Thursday I told him he didn’t have to go to Chess Club.
I know how important it is for children to learn about hard work. I worry that allowing him to quit Chess Club, I am saying it is okay to give up. I love my boy and after a long intense day at school, I don’t want to force him to go somewhere or do something he does not feel comfortable with. It is never fun to do anything you aren’t good at.
Then I worry he will never get any better unless he tries. My daughter has been taking ballet for about a year and I’ve seen improvement, but every week she enjoys going and I don’t have to force her to put on her ballet shoes and leotard. Likewise, I never feel forced to go to yoga. I go because I want to learn more about inversions and mantras. I wish my son can find an activity that he feels passionate for.
Clearly I am no Tiger Mom, but am I being too relaxed?