A focus of any good parent is ensuring that they do all they can to keep their child safe. Therefore, when it comes time to make decisions about what activities ones child gets into, combative sports might cause some pause. My family is no stranger to the feelings that arise when a child wants to wrestle. My mother in fact wrestled with her feelings about her daughter finding a new passion in wrestling for many months but ultimately, through time and talk, I was given the opportunity to participate in a sport that has given me much.
This week, I sat down with my mom to talk with her about her experience having a daughter that wrestles. I hope dearly that what she shared may help a parent of child with a new interest in sport like wrestling.
Could you describe the process of how I began wrestling?
You came home with a form asking that I sign it and in the form they said something about the possibility of injury. That got me afraid. For a long time I couldn’t make up my mind and it was back and forth. Overall, the process was scary initially and even up until now.
What was your initial feeling towards your daughter wanting to participate in a combat sport?
My initial thought was of all things, why would something want to wake up and be beating people. But along the line I recalled something I can never forget. There was an incident where someone beat up your older sister at school while you were in kindergarten. You couldn’t stand someone doing that to your sister and although the person was much bigger than you, you tried to fight them back. You gotten beaten up as well but you continued holding on to the bully while crying and saying, “My mommy will meet us here”. And you held onto them until I got to the school. You were never someone who looked for trouble but when I remember that and one of two other occasions like it, it makes some sense to me why you might gravitate towards wrestling.
Has that feeling changed?
It has changed because I can see that you love it and I can see that it is helping you in your development. Positive things have come out of it like mentors and opportunities. It opens doors for you in different was so I’d say it was always blessing in disguise. My only concern is that you remain safe.
In what ways do you think wrestling has influenced your me?
I think it has influenced you in your time management and apart from that, it makes you a more matured person. It also gives you patience and perseverance in doing things - you don’t give up.
What fears or difficulties do you feel you face because of your daughter's decision to wrestle?
I want you to always keep safe so that I never regret allowing you to wrestle. The time that you injured your ankle was difficult and frightening. But at the end of the day, I can see that wrestling makes you more disciplined for your age and brings positive things and people to you. I also think you command respect through the fact that you wrestle. I just pray that everything continues to be well
What has your daughter participating in wrestling taught you?
It teaches me that my baby is a mature lady. I see you as a strong and determined person who works hard and is focused. It has taught me to not be afraid of going for something you think you will like
What would you say to someone else if their child wanted to do something that they found challenging to accept, like wrestling?
I would just say as a parent if you are really confused and that if your child is reasonably responsible, you can just tell them the pros and cons of what they’re getting into. The parents themselves can get prepared for anything that might happen. Overall, I think the best thing a parent can do if their child is really excited about something is to be mindful of the child’s feelings. Make sure to not break them down with comments like “I told you so,” if they face a lack of success initially. Just listening silently can go a long way.