• Angelene Woodard

If Parenting Were Like Break Dancing

Our eight-year-old son participated in a break dancing event recently.

Actually, it was a straight up competition. But, one would be hard pressed to prove that.

There were over 600 people from all walks of life in attendance at this dance thang. Here’s how it all went down.

Tickets and tees were sold at the door. The music was so dang loud, you could feel the bass deep in your chest. People were gathered on all sides focusing on the inner circle where breakers throw down. (That’s slang for competitors dance to the best of their ability) House lights were off, spotlights were on.

(Yes, as homeschoolers, we consider break dance to be a sport. If breaking is not Physical Education then I don't know what is!)

Each B Boy/B Girl) took their turn in a break dance face-off against a peer from their same category. Once their forty-five seconds of fame was over, the judges decided who won that round. If your kid out danced another kid, they moved onto another round of competition. Simple.

Here’s where it gets impressive though.

The children have teachers – dance coaches, if you will. These dudes aren’t just teaching dance skills. They are teaching patience, courage, and honor.

For real, you know how hard it is to teach patience to a child. Well, this is how breakers do it.

Try spinning on your head as fast as you can and see how many times you come crashing down. Then try it again. And again. And again. Persistence. Patience.

What about courage? Well, most of these little dudes are beginners. But they are treated with just as much dignity and respect as the big dogs who have been doing this well into adulthood. When the leaders they look up to treat them in this fashion, they are more inclined to take a risk and dance like no one is watching – even when hundreds of peeps are watching. They are more apt to lay down their blaring insecurities for the sake of fun.

Above all, break dancing is about honor. Each child is enthusiastically encouraged to respectfully shake hands with their competitor after a battle. They are encouraged to help one another learn and grow in this skill set.

At the end of the day, no one in our family even cared that our own B Boy Hyper made it three full rounds before being eliminated.

Nope. We cared about other things.

1. He tried something new and learned from it.

2. He discovered a little bit more of his style.

3. He was happy to participate and wasn’t upset when eliminated. (I blame this on all the positive vibes swirling around us that afternoon. It’s difficult to be disappointed when everyone around you is offering high-fives, fist bumps, and sincere smiles.)

4. He supported and respected the other dancers.

I can’t help but think how my parenting would benefit if I applied these simple principles to my parenting style.

What if I didn’t discourage myself from trying something new before I even had the chance to learn from it? Read a parenting book with unfamiliar ideas? Whoa. There’s a radical idea.

Loosen up a little with my children so they can get to know me as a person – not just as a mom. They just may end up liking my style. We could jam together when they get older.

What if I gave my children a big ol’ smile as opposed to my perma-frowny-face when life gets difficult and challenging.

I could concentrate more on what’s best for our little family instead of what others may think. Freestyle, Baby!

How much better off would my parenting be if I dared to copy a more advanced mama’s moves? Maybe I could ask her for some advice. Maybe she would show me what works for her. It might work for us, too.

What if I laid down my blaring insecurities for the sake of fun?

What if I trusted my Coach faithfully and wholeheartedly knowing He loves me even when I fail?

I’m convinced. If parenting were more like break dancing, the world would be a better place!

That would be Supa. Dope. Fresh.

Psalm 149:3 Let them praise His name with dancing.

Feel free to leave a comment below and lemme know whachootinkboutdis.

Angelene Woodard is a wife, mother, writer, and reluctant homeschooler who blogs about her frustrations and victories at www.unqualifiedmom.com where she encourages fellow Christian mamas to embrace their weakness and accept His strength.

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