Note to reader (1): Firstly, granted, 2013 has, for some, been a good, even great year.
Note to reader (2): Highlight of the year was the birth of my beautiful nephew, Nayan, an absolute darling adored by us all > God Bless Him.
January 2013 didn’t kick off as we had expected, yes we were looking forward to celebrating our son’s 10th birthday (landmark hitting double figures), however a series of uncharacteristic behavioural issues soon put a stop to that. It was a pain-staking first two weeks in January where we must have spoken to his teacher a few times after school about something or another. It reached a point where my wife was very reluctant to collect him, too distressed at what else the teacher may bring to our attention. Fortunately for my son, his parents are pragmatic individuals and collectively don’t jump to conclusions too quickly. If placed in a pie chart, then 60% of these troubles were self-inflicted, 20% down to an individual targeting him (truth and the whole truth) and 20% thanks to a teacher who seemed to have it in for him. The impact of this saga meant cancelling his planned birthday party! Yes it was hard, we as parents were both disappointed but it seemed the best course of action.
Positive Spin: My son very quickly realised that when you don’t learn from your mistakes, then those with authority will take something away from you. A comparison was made with the Big Bad World, where ultimate result may be one being relieved from their job.
Up until this year, I had been involved in football (or soccer for our US friends) coaching with young children. Alongside my co-coach, we had been coaching the same team for the past 4 years and they were now an under-10’s team. Mid-January I lost two players to another team, their reason was that my co-coach was too critical to the kids, never provided any positive feedback and was always shouting from the sidelines. Naturally I was disappointed as these kids had been with me for quite a while. At the time I didn’t say anything as not to rock the boat, I was hoping my co-coach would recognise his own faults, or at least his other half would point them out. Then a month later he turned his attention to my son (who also played in the team), it became so apparent that even the opposition coaches started pointing it out. The concerns from the rest of the parents started mounting and I was always on the phone to one parent or another, wanting to leave the team. I finally cracked when during discussions on end of year awards, my son was nominated for the top award and he refused to agree, telling my why he didn’t deserve it. On presentation night, he kept his speech very brief and refused to shake hands with all the kids in our team, because he didn’t agree with who got the awards (Oh I forgot to mention his son didn’t get an award for a change…hence why).
Positive Spin: The attitude of my co-coach came to light early in the year but it was a signal that I too need a break from coaching. Together with feedback from the parents it meant I was able to act quickly in moving the kids onto new teams in the league to ensure they had football in the coming season. Also it was a realisation that sometimes you just can’t help some people, they refuse to change, so to ensure you have positive vibes around you, let go of these individuals.
Middle of the year was all about coaching and mentoring my eldest son ahead of his 11+ entrance exams for secondary school. What started out as a give it a try and see how it goes kind of consumed my thoughts as I became obsessed with filling each and every spare moment packing in revision with my son. To his credit, he was magnificent, spent all of summer studying and working through pass papers. He missed out by a couple of marks and initially it hit me hard, I was struggling to deal with it. Without trying to sound arrogant, I think it was because to date he had been successful at whatever he put his hand to. However, we soon realised that he had been successful, in maintaining a routine and not showing any fear in giving it a go – we were immensely proud of him.
Positive Spin: I believe things happen for a reason and good one too. All the studying during the summer will put him in good stead for his final year in Primary school. Also, he seems much happier with his second choice school, it’s a mixed school and I think he will learn a lot more about relationships. For us as parents, an indication of how to better deal emotionally when your child falls a little short on something they worked very hard at – that’s LIFE!
Last month my mum’s house got burgled, the house was empty at the time (during the day) but the thieves managed to get away with some sentimental jewellery. The house was a mess and what followed was a tough couple of weeks for all the family. You hear about these events but to be on the receiving end is truly horrific. Stolen items can be brought, yes maybe those of sentimental value remain but a memory, but the aftermath is a slow process which requires growth of confidence and strength.
Positive Spin: Thankfully my mother was not at home at the time, you can never predict how desperate an intruder will be to rob you of your possessions, making you the target of their evil act. Even now I stand by the mantra, whatever happens, happens for a good reason.