The tradition of early morning hockey is a staple of our fall and winter routine. You wake at the crack of dawn, bundle up, grab the mountainous bag of equipment, and enjoy the cold drive to the rink. It is this early morning wake-up which is torturous for my little seven-year old who would prefer to sleep in the comfort of his warm bed.
At six o'clock on Saturday morning I slowly rustle him out of bed. The tears begin to stream, he rolls back into bed. "I don't want to go! I'm so tired!"
I put my arm around his shoulder and quietly explain "You have to go. You made a commitment to your team and you have to go play the game."
"But I don't want too!"
"There are all things we don't want to do but we have to do it. Your team needs to depend on you. If they are short players then it will make it that much harder of a game for them."
He gives me a tearful look "I just want to go back to sleep! I'm so tired!"
I feel myself caving, does he really have to go, it is early, maybe he can miss this one game. It is after all only a hockey game.
My husband walks into the room to see me buckling with the thought that maybe our little man should just go back to bed.
My husband interrupts, shuts on the light,"Time to get dressed and go!"
The tears stream down his little face " But I'm so tired!"
It's with that my husband lays down the law, "You made a commitment to play hockey and play for your team. You are responsible to be there for them."
It's with that I give my son a hug and he lumbers out of bed. He is not happy about going to play hockey at 6:30 am. And I feel a twinge of guilt in my heart that he has to get up so early for a game.
It is with that they stumble out of the house and leave for the cold rink. My husband laces up Roberts skates and our little man hits the ice skating his little heart out. He returns home with a pep in his step and is happy to have stepped on the ice with his team.
"How did the game go?"
He excitedly exclaimed, "We lost 6-0!"
"Are you happy you went?"
He gives me a big smile and I feel a huge wave of relief that when push came to shove he was happy to have played the game. Sometimes learning to play the game isn't always about winning. It is also about learning to commit to waking up a little early to enjoy the time with your team on the ice.
How do you motivate your children to stay in the game? Does it ever seem like a challenge to get them out the door for early morning games and practices?
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