Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri,
Our nine-year-old son won’t stick to anything. He likes drawing cartoon characters to relieve stress. My husband tells him it’s a waste of time. Now our son hides his drawings.
Our son is super good at soccer. My husband has him on every soccer team and doing every type of coaching and classes.
He pushes him and tells him that he needs to get a soccer scholarship to college. My son just goes along with it.
I happened to see our son watching his sisters rehearse for a play they’re doing at school. They invited him to participate and gave him a part to help them practice.
It’s a musical. He started singing and he was unbelievably good at singing and acting. Plus, he loves it.
My husband got mad and told him he was throwing his life away. I told my husband our son is only nine years old. My husband stormed out.
The next morning, our son came down with his soccer clothes on, saying he was ready to practice, to the delight of my husband.
Should I be sad? It bothers me.
Please talk with your husband, alone. Ask him to allow his son to pick one talent that he loves and wants to seriously try out.
“Seriously trying it out” means being committed for six months of taking classes, being coached, and trying hard. After six months, your son can reassess what he wants to do for the next six months. But your child, not his father, has to choose.
If your son chooses singing and acting over soccer, let him.
Six months gives a child time to see where his passion is. He’ll also learn the value of commitment.
Tell your husband that you understand he’s just trying to help his son participate in something that will help him in his future. However, your son has to love, love, love what he’s doing or he won’t be successful, no matter how good he is.
Kids need to learn how to deal with failure and criticism. They also need to be encouraged and praised.
Your husband and you may need counseling if he won’t try to help his son choose his own talents to develop.
And please let your son draw to relieve stress or just for fun. It’s productive and in the future, he may just want to try it out for six months.
Rhonda and Dr. Cheri