Necessary lesson…

“Mom! I forgot my sneakers!”

I started laughing because surely she was joking. I was 100% confident that my responsible child did not forget her basketball shoes she needed to play basketball. But there she stood in a pile of snow wearing her Adidas slides…you know the ones I suggested she not wear because of all of the snow but I was reassured that she “was fine.” I pick my battles.

But I could tell by the deer-in-the-headlights look on her face that she did, in fact, forget her basketball shoes.

I was not exactly a “happy” woman rushing 20 minutes in the snow back to our house to grab her sneakers. It was 1:15 and she had to be at the gym by 1:30. Because of this unplanned trip, she would just make tip-off at 2:00pm.  My daughter didn’t know it…but she was about to get a tough yet extremely necessary lesson in life.

She didn’t play in the first game.

Not a half.

Not a quarter.

Not a minute.

Not a second.

And I was giving the coach an internal standing ovation from the bleachers.


That’s the time the entire team needed to be at the gym for a game. That was the rule.

My daughter didn’t follow the rules.

Plain and simple.

The coach wasn’t mean about it at all…she told Gia that she didn’t warm up enough and wasn’t ready to get on the court.  But in my head…I was secretly hoping she was benched for not following the rules.  Whatever the reason, I had the coach’s back on this one.

Someone, somewhere is going to send a nasty email about “failing my daughter…not supporting her…relishing in the fact she was upset…why didn’t you pack her bag?!” Oh an email or 18 are coming. (And by the way – my kids know this: if you’re old enough to play competitive sports, then you are old enough to pack your own bag.)

As a mom, of course I didn’t like seeing my daughter upset. No parent WANTS to see their child upset. But this was not something that HAPPENED to her. This is the direct consequence of her actions.

Here’s the thing: If I don’t teach my children to follow the rules…then I am failing them. When has rewarding bad behavior ever worked out?

Sure, she’s “only 10.” But one day she will be 30…and she can’t show up to a meeting 30 minutes late. If my kids don’t learn now…then when will they?

The coach’s move reminded me of old school youth sports. You remember? When we didn’t hand out participation trophies for just showing up…parents weren’t allowed at practices…you didn’t play if you weren’t at practice……those who worked harder played more…you were benched if you had bad grades. Oh I could go on and on about the glory days.

I want my children to build good habits. Be on time…always do your homework…keep your word…share…listen well…treat others with respect…have manners…treat everyone equally…be honest…show gratitude…work hard…be patient…don’t judge others.

Habits change into character.

That’s why I love sports…

Sports don’t build character…they reveal it.

“I will never forget my shoes again.”

Lesson learned.







14 thoughts on “Necessary lesson…

  1. Kudos to you Amanda! It’s called tough love something children of today do not know about or better yet parents! This day in age children expect mom to do everything and it is her fault if something goes wrong. WRONG! I raised 5 kids. Most of the time on my own and I worked a full time job. All my kids were involved in sports and items were forgotten but not once did they blame mom. My point is if we enable them it will always be someone else’s fault. I know it is hard; I did it and now you did but they survived and so did we!


  2. Your true parent and the role is a hard and difficult one at times but your building a strong child (adult) that will handle the knocks in life even the ones we cannot control and hopefully by teaching this one there will be few Kudos to you because you play by the rules they don’t realize how hard is because it hurt us worse watching and someday when were no longer here they will understand the why. God Bless you Girl !!


  3. AMEN! We have 3 kids in their 20’s, they were each given one “pass”. Forgot the book they needed for homework at school, didn’t bring their gym shoes, etc. after that is was on them, amazing that they are all VERY responsible adults and I hope they raise their shildren the same way.


  4. Good for you!! Yes, a life lesson like that is better taught at 10, and miss a game than 30, and lose a job! I applaud you and the coach for helping her with that lesson.


  5. As we all know, even as an adult, you forget something major and have to face the consequences. I started in 4th grade with my kids. You have only one time per quarter to call me for something you forgot for school.” Then in high school it was only once. Just once so they had to decide what would be the most important to use up their “once” save. The love parents show in rules and respect of consequences is becoming lost


  6. You should not have rushed back to get her shoes… please read John Rosemond.. He calls it the ‘Godfather principal’ She forgot her shoes… you should not have tried to help. She should suffer the consequences . It was your job to bench her, not the coach. Hopefully she learned her lesson, but it was your job to teach it, not the coach’s.


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