These Dear Mom/Dad short letters are fiction compilations of life-like scenarios that we have seen happen or heard talked about. We know that parents have the best intentions, but it’s easy to get caught up in competing and winning. We hope these letters bring light to some of the actions and feelings that happen between children and parents and how they can be mended or avoided.
Do you remember when I’d been going to lessons and you had to work so grandma took me? I loved those lessons and felt great about everything I learned, but then we started practicing at home. I know you’d been busy at work and hadn’t gotten to see what I was learning in my lessons, but rather than asking me why I’d changed something, you just kept telling me the old way. I tried to explain it to you, but I felt like you had it set in your mind how I was supposed to do it even though the old way hadn’t been working. I know I don’t have as much experience as you and I do appreciate your knowledge, but there is more than one way. I would like to sit down and talk about what I’ve learned and how we can incorporate that into what you’ve already taught me. We won’t butt heads nearly as much and we’ll both have more fun!
Your willing child
Last year when I was a sophomore, I was working hard and practicing all the time. I know we both wanted me to make it to the finals. All I did was think about it! We put hours in the practice pen, I listened to your coaching and knew that I’d worked as hard or harder than any of my peers. But then it didn’t go as planned at a couple rodeos and I didn’t make it. I felt like you gave up on me. I promise I was giving it my all and I was disappointed myself, but your reaction made me feel like a failure. Sometimes I thought about quitting because I didn’t want let you down again. I know deep down you were just bummed because you wanted to see me succeed. This year, please remember to support me regardless. Unless I become a lazy slob and need a kick in the rear, I ask you to help me with my own emotions of defeat and I think it’ll help my confidence and I’ll get better faster.
Your soft-hearted child
Do you want to know the reason I decided to quit? I loved to compete and wanted to do my best, but I got burnt out when we NEVER took a break. All we ever did was practice and compete. All we talked about was getting better, becoming more like someone else, having better horses and working harder. We didn’t laugh or play games anymore; it was serious all the time. Even when I won, I never felt like I won enough. I’m just a kid and want to spend time with friends and try new things, but you always say no because we have to practice, or we are entered somewhere. You said I could go to my best friend’s birthday party three months ago, when I reminded you the week before, you told me no because you’d forgotten and entered me somewhere. I understand that you get what you work for and being committed is important, but isn’t it important to have fun and enjoy life too? Sometimes I wish I’d stuck with it, but now I have friends and get to try new things. If we can come to an agreement where you will support me playing basketball, joining a club and keeping a calendar of events, I think I’d like to start competing again. I do miss spending time with you, but I want us to have fun and laugh when we do it.
Your burnt-out child