Do you want to be a champion at parenting?
If you let your kids play sports, you can learn what it takes to be a champion parent. Sports are great ways for kids to learn character lessons. And guess what? You can too!
After 18 years of being a sports mom, I know that I have become a better parent from the experience.
How can you improve your parenting skills as you watch your child play sports?
Give up control
- Learn when to keep quiet. Sometimes your kids don’t want questions after practice or after a game. You gotta know your kid and let them talk when they are ready. And then, be ready to just listen.
- Stop worrying. It doesn’t help them play better. It just stresses you.
- Let them fight their own battles. Let them learn from their mistakes. Let them reap what they sow. Let them suffer the consequences of their choices.
- Let the coach be the coach, and you be the parent. He has his job; you have yours. If you think you know more than the coach, then maybe you should volunteer to coach next time. Pointers and tips at home are okay when asked, but pushing your kids like a coach could add tension to your relationship.
Modeling is worth 1,000 words
- Model at home how you want your kids to treat their teammates. If you trash talk teammates or coaches, they will most likely do the same. But if you are positive and build up the team and coach, they are more likely to reflect that to their teammates.
- Stay positive. It will help you have a better relationship with your child. Being “negative nancy” will frustrate your kids.
- Respect the refs. You don’t have to agree with every call, but yelling derogatory remarks? You wouldn’t want your kid to do it, would you? When you are tempted to start screaming at the refs, stop for a minute and watch another parent do it. Looks kinda ridiculous, doesn’t it?
Choose Your Battles
- Sometimes it’s okay to step into the fight. I’ve approached refs after the game and questioned a call. As a coach, my husband was thrown out of a game for defending his players. There is a time and a place for our kids to know that we are on their side.
- Love your kids no matter how they perform. If they had a bad game, they know it and don’t need any reminders from you. That will only stir up a fight.
- Kids want you to be their fan, but they don’t want you to embarrass them at games. If what you are doing embarrasses them, let them win that battle.
- Respect their choices of when to play a sport and when to move on. Even though you may be extremely disappointed for them to give up a sport–especially when they are good players–if they don’t have the desire and motivation to play the game, it will be a season of battles and negative attitudes.
As your kid grows through sports, so can you. It’s a journey you can take together.
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