Sunday, May 13, 2007

The Blessings of Obsession

Wonderful day talking on the telephone to my kids and grandkids.

There's been much negative commentary, often well-earned, about activities like Little League baseball -- mostly about adult over-competitiveness, whether it's drill sergeant coaches or fist-fighting parents.

But my enthusiastic, happy, bubbling young grandson reminded me today of all that is right about it, too. Hearing about his home runs, his game while it was pouring down rain, his hopes and fears for future games, his delight, his ability to balance even evaluations of his own performance (and he's still very young) ... well, it was impressive stuff. And reminded me of a rule of thumb I learned with my own sons -- help your child develop an obsession with something they love, whether it be a sport, or singing in the chorus, or acting in the drama club, or taking care of animals as a veterinary assistant, or writing, and you will have taken the first step towards helping them get through the turbulence of their teen years in good shape.

I guess we all behave better if we have something to lose. Something we care about. Something we want enough to moderate other behaviors.

So thank you, tonight, to all those unsung, non-drill-sergeant, caring, helpful folk who make programs like Little League possible. Who knows how many kids you have helped onto healthy paths.

1 comment:

Berrysmom said...

So very true, J. I didn't find my obsession until 8th grade, and it was LRY. (Well, it was Junior LRY then, and became LRY in 9th grade). And look where it got me! I'm not sure my teen years were less difficult than most, but they sure were interesting!

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