This is the second post in a 2-part series. If you missed it, catch Dear Child Athletes HERE!
Dear Parents (of Child Athletes),
First, you won’t a more enthusiastic parent in the stands than myself! I’m the biggest cheerleader there is for my boys and am not afraid of who sees or hears, so before you start thinking that I’m one of those parents who sits on their hands and is silent (ironically, that is T), think again!
These Are Kids – I know that you think you’re setting your kid up for the future, but remember…right now they are kids. Let them be kids! Let them have fun and play their sports. Let them run and get dirty, let them play with their friends…don’t fill their schedules with endless teams and practices. Make sure they have time to just be kids!! Be positive and upbeat. You can provide criticism and coaching and still be positive! Don’t kill your kids’ spirits! Remember, they are JUST KIDS!
Learn & Listen – Yup, it’s your job to listen and learn too! Learn the rules, listen to your kids! You might be surprised to learn something about them, their personality, and members of their teams. You’ll learn what they love and what they don’t. Watch them! I mean really watch them, your child, not just the game. Learn their characteristics and their behaviors! (I can pick R & M out of a group of 100+ kids just by the way they stand!) And, let your kids listen and learn…remember, you aren’t the coach or the ref/umpire! Let them do their job and let the kids do theirs (learning)!!
It’s Just A Game – I hate to be the one to tell you this, but if your childs team doesn’t win tonight, the world will continue to turn! If you’re kid doesn’t hit a home run or make the winning touchdown, they are still going to grow up! Right now, these are JUST GAMES! Let them play the game, don’t put so much pressure on them and their activity that it takes the fun out of it for them. Let them go out and there and do their thing…relax and enjoy watching them.
Have Fun! Yup, you need to have fun too! If I’ve learned anything over the past 5 years, it’s that the days, weeks, months, and years go by soooo fast! The boys are growing up much faster than I like! So, I want to have fun at their games and activities! I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get nervous, but I really do try to have fun! Enjoy watching your kid succeed and yes, enjoy watching them fail…why? Because when they fail, they are learning and growing and developing! I know it is making them a much better person! So, have fun! Smile, laugh, and enjoy! When they know you’re having fun and enjoying it, the kids will enjoy it that much more!
Finally, love your child no matter fail or succeed! We were entrusted with our kids by God to develop, grow, and support them. Those are our main jobs, not worrying about raising the next Michael Jordan!
Now, go watch your child and cheer with your heart!!