When you’re a parent, the toughest thing about kids’ sports isn’t the break-of-dawn practices, the carpooling, or the team in the next town that’s a head taller than the home team. No, the biggest challenge for parents is standing on the sidelines, witnessing heart-stopping saves, crushing defeats and unfair calls — all within a culture that elevates athletic ability and dangles college scholarships almost within reach — and feeling helpless to protect our child’s feelings and dreams.
No wonder we’re so prone to pushing our kids hard and yelling not-so-helpful comments from the stands. There’s a lot at stake, from our kids’ confidence to those scholarships we secretly dream about. We’re looking out for our kids — isn’t it our job to show them how to work hard for a goal and then achieve it? Shouldn’t we help them live up to their full athletic potential so they can reap the benefits of sports participation?
It’s true there’s a lot to cheer for when it comes to athletics. Not only do our kids develop a sense of teamwork and stay in shape, they develop traits such as responsibility, accountability and resilience. And at least one study has shown that athletes perform better in school than non-athletes and are more likely to graduate, possibly due in part to the development of key values such as honesty, fair play, respect for themselves and others and adherence to rules.
(To read more of this article, follow the link below…)
Note from Forever Years Editor, Kirsteen McLay-Knopp:
The author of this article, Amy McCready, is from the USA, but the “side line parents” she talks about exist all around the world. From a Kiwi/ New Zealand perspective, we found this wonderful video with various prominent All Blacks talking about this subject… view below.