Is your parenting self worth based on the performance of your kids?
Whether we mean to or not, we often attach our success as a parent–our self worth as a parent or person–to how awesome our kids are. Who doesn’t love being known as that amazing kid “Johnny’s mom” or that talented athlete “Susie’s dad”?
I love it when the character and success of my kids precedes me. It makes me proud and if I’m at all honest with myself, I must admit that there’s a part of me that feels I’m a better person because my kids are awesome.
Carry that thinking into the youth sports world and you have a recipe for competitive dysfunction with parents who are in overdrive as they push their kids to succeed. If they are being honest, they will admit that it makes them feel good about themselves too.
Your Parenting Self Worth is not Your Child’s Responsibility
I want to say this very loudly and very clearly: How well your child performs in youth sports does not determine your worth as a person or as a parent.
If your kid sucks, you can be an amazing parent, or not.
If your kid is a stud, you can be an amazing parent, or not.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. I’m proud of my kids no matter what! But this whole parenting self worth deal is very subtle, so much so that you may not even realize it.
It’s like one of those undetectable diseases that you never know you have until you start seeing outward symptoms.
A low parenting self image may not become evident until you start showing symptoms:
- pushing your kids to practice, practice, practice so they can be really good.
- constantly bragging about how many points your kid scores or how great they play.
- hovering to be sure that your kid is playing their best, and yelling to him from the sidelines just to be sure he is.
- insisting that your child start or play a certain glory position because he’s the best one in your opinion, even when your child is content to play what his team needs.
Take a long look at yourself in the mirror tonight and ask yourself this question: Am I basing my parenting self image on how well my kids do? Answering that question may require you to be brutally honest with yourself, but for the sake of your parenting health and your child’s own self worth, it is a question you must answer. Your parenting self image is NOT your child’s responsibility.
Don’t waste another minute! The next season of youth sports is upon you.
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