Being a parent of a child in sports is bound to bring on all the emotions. When it’s your own kid competing, we, as parents, oftentimes feel the highs and lows of competition more intensely than when we, ourselves, are competing. “The thrill of victory… and the agony of defeat” times a thousand!
That said, if you follow these best practices for how to parent a child in sports, you’ll be far more level-headed and less invested in your kid’s game. As a result, both you and your family will be operating from a healthier place.
Parent Tip #1: Let your child decide what it is they want.
Kids need to be in a physical activity, period. End of subject. So, give them opportunities to decide what that should be.
Parent Tip #2: Don’t force your kid to…
- Play the sport you think they’re gonna be a phenom at
- Tackle the game YOU want them to play
- Participate in the activity they’ve shown the most promise in
If your child doesn’t LOVE it, find something else. Because no one wins when little Suzie is doing something just because mommy said so.
Parent Tip #3: Let the coaches coach.
Just be a parent. Watch the game, bite your tongue, but please don’t interfere!
Parent Tip #4: Don’t ever express disappointment in their ability.
You can shout, “give it your best!” or “try your hardest!” But don’t do this after the game, mmmkay? It shouldn’t based on how they performed. The game has come to an end and they can’t change what happened. Therefore, criticizing a child for his or her ability AFTER THE FACT is especially demoralizing. They’re going to think that you’re judging who they are.
Parent Tip #5: Stop living through your kid.
Didn’t you already have your chance? Look, if you didn’t make it all the way or weren’t good enough, don’t live your ex-player what could’ve been life through your child. You had your chance. And, for whatever reason, you didn’t make it as far as you wanted to. Leave all that in the past and don’t bring into your child’s journey.
For more tips and an inside look at how Bret and I parented our kids in sports, you MUST check out our podcast, titled: Parenting Kids in Athletics!
You’re going to be obsessed because Bret comes from a legacy in local sports. He really opens up in the pod and shares how his childhood experiences shaped how we parented our sports-involved kids!
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