Monday’s Momfession: I Let My Kid Win At Bowling And I’m Not Sorry
Some days, you have to pick your battles. And on Saturday, I chose. Poorly.
This was a rough weekend for weather - it may be April, but outdoor activities were NOT on the menu. Luckily, my son and I had a pre-planned activity: mother/son bowling with his elementary school.
We were both super excited about it - he's 11, and at an age where he wants to hang out with dad. ALL. THE. TIME. So, bonding time was much needed.
We started to make our way through the first game. Around the 7th frame, he looked at the score and said, "You're beating me!" By a few points, mind you. It wasn't a blowout. Nevertheless, his mood changed instantly.
I'll preface this by saying that I would NEVER use my son's autism as an excuse for anything. However, certain situations can be more challenging because of his ASD. And this was turning out to be one of them. He was getting upset, overwhelmed and ornery.
None of the "neuro-typical" kids were focusing on scores or in bad moods - it was just MY KID.
I had to make a quick decision in the 10th frame: his score was 96, mine was 97. Obviously, neither one of us are pro bowlers. We were also using bumpers, because why not. But still - we had another game to play. We were sharing the lane with another mom/son duo, and we were in close quarters with other parents and kids.
I am NOT a trophy-giving mom. If you lose, you lose. It's a good lesson to learn because you sure as hell aren't going to win every day in life.
But I wasn't willing to ruin the day with a meltdown. So, in the last frame, I threw it. I hit one pin. And I lost the game by 5 points.
Am I proud of this? Of course not. That's no way to parent - letting our kids win at everything teaches them NOTHING. I want him to be a good sport and a gracious loser.
But not every day can be a life lesson. Some days, you have to make quick decisions, even when you know they're not benefiting anybody. I made the quick decision to let him win, simply to avoid a meltdown in front of a bowling alley full of his friends and fellow parents.
It wasn't the worst way to let a kid win, I suppose. I bowled my best until that last frame; I didn't throw it in the beginning. But being a parent is hard. And some days, you have to make the easy decisions, instead of teaching hard lessons.