Teaching Your Kids (and Daddy) to Pay Their Dues

Teaching Your Kids (and Daddy) to Pay Their Dues

As a somewhat functional adult, I generally understand that nothing in life is free. I am not entitled to anything without working for it and that sometimes, I have to start at the bottom and work my way up. Whether working in a job or trying to learn a new skill, it takes effort to get where I want to be. It’s is also my responsibility as a parent to pass this wisdom on to my four wonderful children.

Phrases like “You gotta work for it kid” and “Practice makes perfect” and one of my favorites, “If you want it, you have to earn it” get tossed around pretty often in our house. And most of the time, I believe those phrases wholeheartedly. But then, organized team sports happens. Then, I see my daughter on the bench when others are playing and some small part of me says “Why isn’t she getting the chance? She deserves to play more.” Never mind the fact that she is 12 years old playing on a homeschool High School squad that is full of players much older and more experienced. Young ladies who have been where she is, who have paid their dues and put in the years of practice and work to get to play now.

I know these things and she knows these things. However, the fact is, I am human and a dad and I hate to see my daughter watching and not playing. This is where being an adult comes into play. I have to set my own pride aside and realize that this experience is valuable for her and that she is learning so much by observing these players. Any opportunity that she gets to play, they are right there with her, supporting her and encouraging her and I am so thankful for it. She is learning from them how to put in the work. She is learning to earn the opportunity. She is learning that she is not entitled to anything. She is learning to pay her dues. These are such valuable things to learn at 12 years old.

If I can remind myself of these same things, I will enjoy this ride just as much as she is. Then we both win.


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