For all this time, I've dictated the practice schedules, which have always been, "skate whenever he gets a good chance." But lately that's led to some resistance on Stitch's part. He simply doesn't see the value in skating so often. There's been some quabbling over the matter of How Often to Practice, and I was debating how to handle this.
MsV approached me over the whole Parenting Thing. "I don't know what to do, he fights us over every little thing! But I'm reading this book, 'Parenting without power struggles,' and I'm hoping that will do something. Its very highly recommended, you should read it!"
Power struggle? Is that what this is? The light came on.
Kids start to assert some demand for power over their little lives from age two. I've always ascribed to the method of allowing limited choices where appropriate (what clothes to wear, what to eat, what activities to do.) But for some reason the skating had slipped from "limited choice" to "non-negotiable," on the same plane as homework.
Last night over dinner, Stitch and I had a chat.
"Okay, so you've got this new program to work on and a competition in January."
"How often do you think you need to practice?"
He thinks. "Twice a week."
That's once more than what I thought his answer would be, so I'm encouraged. "Great. Your options are Friday night Public, Saturday Night Public, Sunday Afternoon Public, or Sunday Night Practice Ice."
"I don't like Public Ice. It's too crowded and distracting."
I almost fell out of my chair, one for the honesty and two for the cost. "Thank you for explaining that to me. Do you prefer the Tuesday morning ice over the Wednesday night?"
He sighs as though he hates to admit it. "Yes. It's much less crowded."
"Good. So, let's make a plan. I'll take you to practice on Friday nights and Sunday afternoons or Sunday night whichever you prefer. As we get closer to winter, the Sunday afternoon public will fill up, so we may call it quits and do Sunday nights. Okay?" Plus on Sunday nights he can get his music played.
Stitch agrees that this is a good plan. A good plan that he had a big hand in setting.
I then laid out his options for the evening; TV time, video games or a board game. He opted for video games, and I gladly spent the next hour being his Legend of Zelda Coach. "Go in there, target the spider and hit it! Ignore the heart beeping, you'll come back, hit it!"