Michael’s Dad and I are very excited that he is back to playing soccer again this summer. There is something about the game of playing soccer that is fun and simple. I’ve always loved the idea of parents sitting on the sidelines watching their kids play a simple game with a ball, getting fresh, and learning about team spirit, and really what it takes to make it in the world with a healthy dose of cooperation. What I especially enjoy is that Michael has found a soccer team that for him is a good fit. It is smaller than a team he was playing on previously, and for him that’s important. He tends to get swallowed up in big groups, lots of coaches and lots of kids. As he grows, he may be ready for more competitive teams, but for right now, he is right where he is supposed to be. He also has a crush on his head coach, who also babysat for us once. He has “married her,” and looks forward to seeing and sharing things with her at every practice. We have to remind him she is there to coach all the kids, but of course she and the other coaches understand. It is an adapted team which really helps as all the kids are exceptional, and the coaches know how to handle them.
Michael’s Dad and I enjoy talking to the other parents as we do at his other activities which are also adapted. They get it and they get how our kids do things a little differently, and are smart in their own right. They get how hard it is for our kids who want to be active, but do not always have the options on non adapted teams or cannot keep up with the pace on these teams. Most importantly, as our exceptional kids realize they are not alone in the way they are, their exceptional parents realize it too, talking to other parents facing the same challenges of raising an amazing child or children who are not textbook.
Exceptional Parents, do your Exceptional Children do extracurricular activities? Do you go the adapted or non-adapted way and how do you and your child find them? The important thing to remember is to follow your child’s interest in pursuing activities along with their capabilities. Don’t ever push them too far beyond their comfort zone, but be there to give them a little nudge to get out there and meet other children, learn about playing, and allow yourself the opportunity of meeting parents who are facing the same journey as you. Until next time.