|Photo Credit: Nan Hyde|
PROBLEM #1 Focus is on winning, not on having fun.
My son's team was winning 5-0 last night and I was still yelling like a crazy Mom. Most of which was exactly what a parent should be cheering,
"Looking good, boys."
I may have heard myself say, "So help me if you let them score I will spank you all!" I was getting a little worried we wouldn't clutch the shut out that our team so desperately needed. They needed it for themselves, not for me. These boys had been working their behinds off (the same ones I was going to spank). They deserved to see the fruits of their labor. Luckily, they got the shut out and I didn't have to spank any of them. The point is. Winning is fun. It's just not everything!
PROBLEM #2 Children's performance becomes more important than their health.
The entire reason I began researching this issue is because my son brought home a Red Bull, which he had bought while with his super-responsible-and-completely-handsome Dad. They just wanted to try a little experiment and see if it changed my son's performance during a game. (REALLY?!) My husband wouldn't drink the stuff, but he'd let his son. My son took a few sips before the game (he didn't dare drink the whole thing after I scared him with horrible details about how he would probably die if he were to consume the nasty drink.)
Turns out he didn't play any differently. He did great, which he typically does. Ironically, he got injured pretty bad within the first 15 minutes of the game. Which leads me to the next point I made in the article.
When I realized that my son was not going back in the game and getting frustrated that I was sitting there not getting to watch him play, I went over to him on the bench. Now, this is definitely something a parent shouldn't do during a game, but he was injured and I wanted to make sure he was ok.
Or so I thought.
Until I heard myself saying,
"Can you just try to walk it off?"
"Are you sure you can't run?"
"You're really not playing the rest of the game?"
"I missed your last game and I have to miss your next game. Ugh."
My husband, who just happened to be coaching the game, suggested I run home (it was 2 minutes away) and grab him an ice pack. My reply, "I don't want to miss the rest of the game. He can wait until it's over!"
As soon as I sat back down in my chair these words I had typed just two days before came blaring into my mind...
"We need to be more concerned about a child's lifelong health instead of his or her (or a parent's) temporary sports aspirations."
PROBLEM #3 Specializing children too young.
2 of my 4 boys play soccer year round. My 6-year-old son is on an academy training team.
PROBLEM #4 Caring more about the game than the child.
As we were driving home from the game, rushing to be late to a scouting Court of Honor, my first question was, "How is your leg?" my second question was, "Do you think you'll be able to play in the game on Saturday?"
Hmmm...Game or child?
My opinion regarding my opinion is that I have some serious work to do. Thank goodness our children are forgiving. Thank goodness he is still young and I still have time to change. Let's just hope that I can learn to take some of my own advice.