Wednesday, May 23, 2007

"The Will Must Be Stronger Than The Skill" Muhammad Ali

I was watching Dancing with the Stars finale last night, and heard this quote.

If there is any advice I could could offer from parenting 4 children this would be one of them. In my opinion, or should I say through my experience, it doesn't matter how smart, or average, how athletic, musical, or even personable you child is, if they don't have WILL their SKILL doesn't matter.

I think that we all put so much into teaching our kids how to count and read which will turn out to be for nothing if they don't have the will to want to succeed. By succeed I don't necessarily mean straight A's, Yale, The Heisman Trophy, or even becoming a CEO of a company. I mean the desire to do the best you can even at the things you aren't good at. It means the desire to get through the monotony of the lemons you are dealt and still be able to make lemonade.

I have a son who is academically beyond my levels yet "needs" to connect with his teacher in order to be successful. If he doesn't like his teacher, he will pretty much just blow the class off. LIFE LESSONS have taught me that as much as I want to waltz into the office and have him switched to a class I know he can succeed in, I would only be hurting him in the big scheme of things. As an adult, as a parent, one of the most difficult things I have had to learn is how to let him fail. I have been trying to ....NO, not trying, I have decided to land the helicopter.

I am sure that you have all heard of the *helicopter parent that the media seems to use so frequently now. Well...
that was me. I am on the 12 step program now and I am up to about 205 days of grounding my chopper. I have to take it day by day.
I have plenty of sponsors that I call when I feel the need to Chinook my way into his school again. But just as he is learning to fly on his own, I am learning to let him. I haven't been this way with the other 3 children in our home.
Perhaps, they are the ones who allowed me to see that I needed to let him "want it" more that just doing it to please us.

How do you teach WILL? I am not sure, I wish I had the answer. I would bottle it up and QVC it out to everyone. Maybe he got it from me, after all the laundry could sit for days in piles on the floor. Although, I must say, throw a little competitive spirit into it and he has the will of a tiger! (as long as he likes his teacher!)

My name is Movin' Mom and I am a recovering Helicopter Mom!
The irony of it all is that my father was actually a helicopter mechanic.

My advice to you all, especially if you have a bright child is to have balance. Balance in the academic teachings and the life skills. It is so easy to assume that a bright child has it all figured out before the others. If you figure out how to teach "WILL" then let me know, maybe I can get the laundry done, after all your never to old to be taught a life lesson.

Am I suppose to hold my sons head underwater to learn desire & will????

Here is something I found online:
A student approaches a Teacher and declares, “I desire to learn from you”. The Teacher responds, “very well, follow me.” The Teacher leads the student to the ocean and motions for him to follow into the water.

When they are about chest deep in the water, the Teacher grabs the student and forces his head underwater. At first, the student is calm, thinking, “this is just part of some test, he will let me up in moment and I will impress him”. After a minute passes the Student begins to worry and struggle. Soon he is desperately trying to surface and becomes frantic.

The Teacher holds the student under the water to the point where the struggling ceases and the student almost passes out. Upon releasing him, the student angrily gasping for air shouts, “Are you crazy! You almost drowned me!”.

The Teacher looks into calmly into his eyes and says, “when you desire to learn from me, as much as you desired to get a breath, then return, and I will teach you”.

A drowning man will do ANYTHING necessary to get air. True desire is equal only to what you will do (discipline) to get the object of that desire. This desire is what Jesus meant by “hunger and thirst for righteousness”.

Matthew 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. (NKJV)

(updated by suggestion of my 8th grader who had NO idea what a helicopter parent
*A helicopter parent is a term for a person who pays extremely close attention to his or her child or children, particularly at educational institutions. They rush to prevent any harm from befalling them or letting them learn from their own mistakes, sometimes even contrary to the children's wishes. They are so named because, like a helicopter, they hover closely overhead, rarely out of reach whether their children need them or not.
An extension of the term, "Black Hawks," has been coined for those who cross the line from a mere excess of zeal to unethical behavior such as writing their children's college admission essays. (The reference is to the combat helicopter of the same name.)

(I would like to say on my own behalf that I never made it to the Black Hawk level nor do I ever plan to)


mayberry said...

It is so hard not to rescue kids and I am sure it only gets harder! Thanks for the reminder.

me said...

YOU, Movin Mom, are completely psychic. I swear to God (and I totally said that like I was 17 again) I just had this conversation with my oldest's football coach. I had to go return a library book, so Mr "I'm a Man and need no parents", could take his finals tomorrow. (ahem. point) The coach was in the office and walked up to the library with me . when I asked how son was doing, he replied, that he was doing well, but he would like to see him in the weight room more.

I agreed with him and told him most of son's problem was that everything has always come so easy for him, that now he almost doesn't know how to work hard for anything.

There are times when I almost wish he would falter (just a little) so he could see the other side.

So while you're in my head....could you remind me to buy cat food later? Thanks

L.A. Daddy said...

I always have that strong desire to help when I know I shouldn't. I so want to reach in and make things go right -- but I do resist most of the time.

It also helps that LA Toddler is one stubborn little kid. If you help, she gets all sorts of mad.

But, thanks for the story. I have something fun to try next time we're at the beach :)

Julie said...

I promise you, No Kidding, when I heard that quote last night, you were the first thing to pop into my ming!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Julie said...

oops, mind...

tommiea said...

I am learning this now, because my younger one (age 2) thinks she has to do everything herself. Maybe I should record this now and replay it for the next 16 years!

I think as a parent and a mother, you want to go in and make things easier.

movin'mom said...

mayberry- I don't know if it's harder as they get older because I have to say I had NO idea I was doing it when he was little.

me-I had to let my son read your comment. We both laughed out loud because we are having the same weight room issue in our home. we are simpatico!!

l.a.daddy- omg it took me a minute or two on teh beach comment and when it hit me I lost it out loud! So did my kids.

Julie-It's what we always talk about!

tommiea- i have found it to not be as much of an issue for first born girls as it is first born boys....but I agree.......i was just trying to be helpful. I reasoned it by saying...this is why I am a stay at home mom........WRONG!!!!

White Magpie said...

Great write.