First some background info: my 13 yo daughter is very good at track & field, placing 5th in the state in her event in 6th grade, then placing 4th and 3rd in the state in two events in 7th grade. This year, she is expected to place in 3 events, and has a real possibility of coming in first in at least one of them.
Also, the 8th grade class takes a 3 day trip to Chicago at the end of the year, visiting various museums, the observatory, zoo, etc. It is a lot of fun and somthing they all look forward to. They leave early on Wed morning and return very late Friday night, and get little to no sleep the whole time.
Now the problem, I just heard the State track meet is probably going to be on the very day after the 8th graders get back from Chicago, meaning they would get home around midnight, and have to be at the track 9 hours later! I know she could not possibly perform at her best after 3 days of no practice, no sleep, and eating crap.
I don't know whether to encourage her to go, stay, or leave it entirely up to her. What would you do??
I'd let her decide.
As a Mom of 2 athletes, both playing college sports now, I say let her decide.
Thanks for the input! I was thinking just leave it up to her, but though maybe I was just taking the easy way out and maybe I should give her more guidance since she's only 13. We just got official confirmation that that is the date, and it is set in stone.
Right now, she says she will not go on the trip because she knows this may be her best, possibly only, chance at being state champion (there is a whole lot more & tougher competition at the high school level, and you never know when you might get injured). That's what I was hoping she'd say, but I still hate for her to miss out on the trip...
But, of course, if she skips the trip and still doesn't do well, she'll blame me for "not letting her go" on the trip, but if she goes and then doesn't do well, she'll blame me for "making" her go. No matter what, if it doesn't work it, she'll find a way to blame me
Is there any way she could come back early? I know she wouldn't be able to travel with her class, but maybe you could go and bring her back?
Have you talked to the coach about this? Is she the only 8th grader one going to State?
Not a parent... but I've worked w/ kids of all ages. Maybe you can sit down with her and help her map out her decision on paper. Really sit down and write through the pros and cons of each decision. That way, regardless of what happens..she knew the dilemma and that getting upset and blaming you is not appropriate, if things do not work out in her favor.
I know at that age, I wanted to be treated like a "young adult" and that might help her feel more in control of the situation and responsible.
If she skips the trip, maybe the two of you can plan it as a 'mom and me' trip for later. I took a trip every summer with my daughter - just the two of us - and it was glorious bonding time. Our trips weren't anything too fancy, but we planned them together each year including what sites we would see and even the books on tape we would listen to in the car on the way there and back. Those were wonderful trips that we both still treasure now that she's grown.
I am going ask about my bringing her back early, but I already know the answer. I don't think they will allow that unless there's an emergency, and even if they would, we would have to drive back Thursday night in time for her to be in school Friday, because if we drove back Friday morning she would be considered "absent" because she wasn't with the school group, and if she's absent, she wouldn't be able to compete the next day!
She's not the only 8th grader competing at State, but she is one of only about half a dozen who actually have a chance of placing at state, and probably the only one who has that strong of a chance of winning, and the only one who is THAT competitive that she's willing to forgo the trip.
I am actually one of the coaches, and the other assistant and the head coach both have 8th graders, too, and their kids are still going on the trip, but no one is happy about the timing. I think the head coach would keep his daughter home, too, but his wife won't let him.
The funny thing is, she originally said she didn't want to go on the trip to begin with, because it would be "boring, educational stuff", and I've been talking it up, convincing her it would be fun! She has until Dec 1st to decide, before we have to start paying non-refundable money for the trip.
Can the trip be re-scheduled?
Sounds like a lesson in life. There are times when we have to make decissions between two things. Use this as a chance to teach her we can't always do everything we want and help her reason it out so she picks the one that will make her happier in the long run.
That's good advice TexasSugar.
As I said above I'm the parent of 2 athletes. My DD is an awesome fast pitch softball player. She's played all over the country in tournaments since she was 10 yrs old.
Her Senior year, her high school team made it to the playoffs. Guess what day the 1st game was? The same day as her Senior prom.
There were 7 Seniors on the team who all obviously wanted to attend their prom....you only get 1 Senior prom.
Her coach made them all feel very guilty about wanting to miss the game....he tried to get it changed but it wasn't possible.
Long story short all 7 girls chose to go to their prom and I'm very happy they did.
Even though she still plays in college, she now looks back and realizes that while sports have been a HUGE part of her life (and ours too) it's not the only thing in the world.
Yes, it was great to win the tournament in Walt Disney World, come in 2nd in a tournament in Montreal, place 3rd out of over 150 teams at the Nationals in Virginia, but all of those things seemed so much bigger at the time then they are in the whole scheme of things.
We look back at those days now and say....wow, we used to get so worked up at these tournaments and it was just a game and they were just kids.
As TexasSugar pointed out this is a great opportunity to sit down with your daughter and weigh the pros and cons. She obviously can't be 2 places at once, but which one will make her happier in the long run.
It's a sucky situation to be in, I hope whatever decision she makes will make her happy.....I do still believe that the decision needs to be hers.
P.S. My DH was very angry that my daughter chose the prom over the game, but he never let her know that. I would have KILLED him if he had!
Texas Sugar gave great advice. My son was an athlete and competed at the national level. 8th grade is still very young at competing and will not affect any scholarships etc.
Let her decide. Plot out the pros and cons. There will be lots more competitions, will there be more trips?
Now my son is an adult with a family of his own and when we talked about his past his opinion is that all the national rankings he had don't mean a thing now and that all of the valuable lessons he learned came after losing, nothing of value came from the experience of winning. That, however, is just his opinion-just a different point of view.
I am not a parent but I work with middle School age kids daily.
I would say that it would be possible for her to do both if she wanted. You could discuss with her and the chaperones about the situation, and how she will need to eat properly and get enough sleep each night.
The chaperones could help make sure that she is in bed on time and has roomates that understand the oppurtunity that she has at states.
It would be up to her to make sure to follow the gidelines that you both agree on for her.
That way she could go with her class and friends AND compete on Sat.