Parenting Our Kids in Todays Sports World – Part 2
I am just as guilty a parent as the next. I have fallen victim to all of the following:
- The I Told You So Parent
- Critique Parent
- Know It All Parent
- Coach Parent
- Excuse Making Parent
- Car Ride Parent
- Scoreboard Stressor Parent
- Stat Rat Parent
- Cheerleader Parent
- Ref/Ump/Coach Critique Parent
- Pressure Parent
- Family Funk Parent
As important as it is to confess that we all have faults as parents when it comes to supporting our children and their activities. It is just as important to find the places we need to improve. Just like we want our our kids to do. This is where the rubber meets the road. Parents (including myself) need to have a conversation with themselves and decide what type of parent and I when at games? Where can I improve? Maybe this could even be a conversation with your children, significant other, etc. to really be open and honest about it.
I am going to provide 8 to great! Ttips that I think can help with all of the above mentioned sport parenting types.
#1 Enjoy It! Your child’s “career” will be short, most likely much shorter than the rest of their life. So enjoy it while it lasts. Don’t stress the score, officiating, coaches, or any other thing that will rob you and your kid of the joy sports can provide.
#2 Don’t lose the lesson. Keep the big picture in mind. Focusing on minor things like why a coach made a decision they did. Use sports to teach lessons such perseverance, problem solving, teamwork, work ethic, and many others. Stay focused on the positives and praise the heck out of you kid when they fulfil the expectations of the team and use the negatives as a stepping stone to being better.
#3 Praise the positive and be less of a critic. Your kids but enough pressure on themselves. They don’t need anymore from us. When the game is finished allow them to decompress and not have to relive every missed step and opportunity. Look for the great things they did and encourage those things to continue. The drive home or dinner table is not a good time to talk about umpires, coaching, teammates, and your son or daughters play. Your household will be a much better place if you stay away from the criticism and stick to the positives.
#4 Support your kid, don’t be their problem solver. Whether they won or lost you need to be there. Sometimes just being there is all they need. But be purposeful about when they experience failure. With sports and life, failure is inevitable. Avoid making excuses. Allow them to process why they experienced some sort of failure and help them problem solve (if they are willing) a way it may be avoided next time. One of the biggest lessons our kids can learn from sports in how to handle setbacks. Remember they will follow your lead of how to handle the highs and the lows.
#5 Cheering, yelling, coaching, and officiating doesn’t make you a better parent. Some kids respond well to hearing their parents telling them what to do during a contest but from my experiences as a coach and observer in the stands is that most don’t. It is add pressure when you are coaching them, embarrassment when you are questioning every call, and putting your every emotion on the line from every play that occurs. Being present is always a way to show support. (As a side note, if you are in the stands but on your phone then you are not present) If you are someone who has a hard time staying quiet then outline what you should cheer for. Every time the team scores, every time you see a great hustle play, just keep it simple and to the obvious.
#6 Allow the path to form naturally. Avoid signing them up for leagues, lessons, and other endeavors to make them a better athlete unless they are asking for it. The path to improvement is different for every athlete and should never be led by the parent. Listen to what your children want for their athletic experience and suck it up if it isn’t what you want.
#7 Show just as much support of your kid’s teammates, coaches, officials, other team, etc. as you do them. Refrain from making it all about them. Your #1 job is to support your student-athlete. To successfully do #1 you will also need to support those that serve your kid. Treat all of these groups with respect. How does your son or daughter feel when you are tearing into their coach or teammate who also happens to be their friend off the field? If it is ok for you do criticize the ref or coaching decision, your child may not be far behind. The respect you show will rub off on them. In the long run they will thank you for showing them the way.
#8 Don’t let winning make the family lose. Too many times a loss or bad game ruins the rest of the day. Don’t success cripple the precious time we get to spend with our families. The family experiences have nothing to do with athletic competition so don’t let frustration spoil it. It goes far too quick to allow anything to get in the way of your family. Make a point to separate sports and family time, especially if you or your children have a tendency to let them cross in a negative way.
Consider these 8 to great tips this coming weekend as you are heading to the field or gym. Your kids will thank you and your family will be better for it too! Remember you are the leader and your actions are always being considers by your children about what is and isn’t appropriate. Model someone you can all be proud of.
Remember that I do have some specials going on for the holidays too:
1PW Gear – All items will ship before Christmas, tomorrow is the last day to place your order!
35% Off All Items on my site – Code: holidays
50% Off Lessons in Leadership – Code: lil50
All books $10 – Code: 10bucks
I would love to work with your program to provide the 1PW Mentality to those who are apart of it. If you are interested in setting up the player workshop, parent seminar, and coaching consult please let me know. All three are included when I work with teams.
God Bless and Happy Holidays!