Early last week, both my grade six and grade nine boys have been sleeping late at night for two consecutive days already. The younger one finished a ukelele group project due in three days time. My elder one, on the other hand, got busy with a truss bridge he needed to submit by the end of the week.
Concerned, I asked them how was their division of labor. Both my boys relayed to me that no one wanted to work so they took charge.
Though they enjoyed making the ukelele and the truss bridge and learned from their projects, I was somehow bothered by their set up.
Before they left for school last Thursday (day of submission), I told them something I hope they consider valuable.
If someone throws you the ball, you don’t have to catch it.
To reduce the stress in life, you don’t need to save everyone and take charge of everything. It may be easier to say yes than no because we don’t want to let anyone down. But it isn’t healthy to always be the hero and suffer from being the martyr.
Then I elaborated to my boys that they need not always take the bait of answering everything. Because there will probably someone else to take the responsibility. Plus, the project was supposedly a group effort, thus each member should be involved.
I figured from the looks of my children that I wasn’t making sense. So I explained further.
Not catching the ball doesn’t mean we just don’t care. It only shows we know our limit. It means we take responsibility for our part in the process. If we catch all the balls thrown at us, we may go berserk. We also let ourselves be a victim of the situation. Sometimes, we become so overwhelmed by all the balls thrown our way that we no longer know how to manage life. To manage life then, we need to know what ball to catch and what we need to avoid.
Their school bus arrived just in time for me to finish my lecture. I just hope my boys got the message clearly.
Most probably they did.
Anyway, this mother is just so proud of her children. They know they needed to submit that project so they took charge. But more than that, they displayed that they can be real valuable team members. And I am seeing that this characteristic is something that would bring them success and fortune. But then again, I just hope they manage to catch only the ball they can handle.