Being a parent can be tough at times. Throw in a sport or two and look out!
It can be challenging as you watch your child compete. How you handle yourself while your child is playing and competing in a sport, will affect not only their performance but also the level of enjoyment and emotional well being.
This can be even more challenging when you are coaching your children. I found this really difficult when I was coaching my son in hockey because I used to play hockey, so I felt at times it gave me the right to share what I thought. There definitely is a fine line here and you need to be very careful.
Once my son decided to retire from hockey at the age of 13 and decided to play tennis and my daughter who is a cheerleader and plays volleyball it has been easier for me to not share my opinion “as much” since I am learning new sports as well. This has made it really enjoyable for me as a parent.
In saying that, I have kind of become a tennis coach because I have had to by default, but that is for another blog post. 🙂 I still try to follow these 10 sentences below.
Yes, it’s hard, but I really think it would make life so much better for everyone involved. Even if we are thinking like this as a parent, we are taking positive steps forward.
Whether I am coaching or parenting, I definitely need to use these sentences more often. I thought I would share them here so you can give them a try as well.
Here is the article I found on the Tennis Canada parent portal today and wanted to share it with you.
10 Sentences For Sports Parents
1 word: Hi. Greet your child when they get in the car with “hi” before you ask about practice, the score of the game or homework.
2 words: Have fun. In all likelihood, you’ve heard this statistic: 70% of kids quit sports before they turn 13 for the primary reason that they are not having fun. Encourage and remind your kids to have fun.
3 words: Tell me more. Before forming an opinion or dispensing advice, ask for more information from your child. This will force them to give you a better idea of the story and provide you with more information as to what is actually happening.
4 words: Good job. Keep working. Doc Rivers, head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers and parent of an NBA player, suggests these four words. Rivers notes that as parents we are often tempted to say more and analyze our kids’ performance, but saying only these four words might be what’s best for the kid who simply needs support.
5 words: What’s new in your world? Ask your kids general questions that are not about a particular sport. Even if the reply is “nothing”, it gives you the opportunity to share something about your day.
6 words: I love to watch you play. Best six words ever.
7 words: So, what do you think about that? You already know your opinion, so before you jump to tell your child what it is, ask what his/her opinion is. You are not only learning more about what your child thinks, but you are also helping develop critical thinking skills.
8 words: Is there something I can do to help? Before you give a solution or an action plan, ask if that is what the child really wants. Sometimes all the child wants to do is blow off some steam and parents tend to jump directly to “solving” the problem.
9 words: You are more important to me than your achievements. You may be thinking that of course, this is true. But it is important to remind your child. In the absence of hearing this from you, your children might think that one of the reasons you love them is because of what they do, not because of who they are.
10 words: No matter what, I’m glad that I am your parent. To be loved wholly and completely for exactly who we are, flaws and all is the greatest gift one person can give another. Please give this gift to your child.