Parenting An Athlete Newsletter August 15 2010
Hope you are having a great day. Pass the newsletter on to your friends if you think it is beneficial. Feel free to post the newsletter on bulletin boards. I am also fine with the newsletter being posted on team web sites. I have also attached this newsletter in a PDF file with pictures and a more user friendly format. If you can’t currently open a PDF file you can go to www.pdf995.com and get the free file to open PDF files now and in the future.
About This Newsletter
Because you will be getting this newsletter 2 times a month once we get on a regular schedule, I don’t want to write too much at one time. I want you and your kids to think about just a few topics each issue. I hope that you will then use this information during the 2 weeks between newsletters to try to make things better. I also want these topics to hopefully “spur” some conversations between you and your children/athletes. Maybe even a conversation with your spouse about parenting, that would be fun. Another super important goal of mine is to get these kids to appreciate more what they have and what is being done for them. Some of these kids need to knock off this “attitude” thing. So I am on your side and I want the kids to learn that their actions affect others.
One last thought - I would love to have you “use me” to help your situation. As in “remember what Tom said in the newsletter last week?” I want you to have someone outside of the family who you can lean on when things are getting a little difficult. (This is where “Tom’s Team” is going to come in a little later.)
Wearing You Down
Have you recognized this technique of theirs? They are smart. They have seen that just enough whining, complaining and pressure on you and they break you down and they get what they want. Watch for this. When you see it happening, smile and then don’t let them win. Don’t give in. You are stronger than they are.
Are The Kids Running The Show?
Step back for a minute and look at your family situation, is it ALL about the kids? No, no, no. Parents get to have some fun too. Unless you are willing to give up all of your desires for the happiness of the children, do a few things for yourself each week. Again my theme - parents are people too.
Sorts Ups And Downs
We have them in sports to help them learn about life. To help teach them the proper ways to handle situations. We do not want them to be successful all of the time. Be excited when your child/athlete is challenged by a strike out with the bases loaded or 6 falls on beam. Now we get to help influence them. Now we get to step back, give them a little room and see how they react. I believe one of the best things we can do as parents is to teach them how to handle all of the challenges they will face “out in the world” when they leave us. Sports helps a great deal. And the “downs” of sports may teach as much if not more than the “ups.” See each situation as a learning opportunity.
I love giving kids choices so they can weigh the pros and cons of what one choice can do and what a different choice could do. But……...the children have to be old enough to weigh their choices. Does a 4 year old really understand a lot about choices and consequences? She may be able to choose between a red or blue popsicle but that she wants to do gymnastics 4 times a week? Or that she wants to do only one sport rather than trying others? As parents we are there to guide and give our children lots of experiences to see what they like. Don’t start too early giving the children important decisions that could limit their exposure to other activities.
The parents and the coaches are the adults in charge of making sports a positive, growing experience for the kids. A good relationship helps a great deal. If the kids see friction between the two, well the kids will learn some lessons from that situation too. Both the coaches and the parents have to believe in each other. They are partners in the goals of the sports program. This is very important.
Get to know your coaches. We all know that most coaches don’t have a huge amount of time outside of practice but creating a relationship with the parents is important. We all have to be on the same page. We have to believe in similar philosophies. The coach is an extension of the parents and the parents are an extension of the coaches. Both working together for the betterment of the children/athletes. That doesn’t mean every situation will be perfect, but with a good relationship, you can work out the bumps in the road and get back to normal. (Normal being good)
One more free “Young Athletes” Newsletter after this one. I hope that you think it is beneficial enough to spend $36 a year or $60 for 2 years. (that’s just $3 a month!) Try it for a year, at 6 months if you aren’t satisfied - get a full refund!
Enjoy the athlete newsletter with your children!
Parenting is tough. You are not alone. Have a great week!