There’s a lot of pressure that inherently comes with being a parent. In these early years, your child will learn the basic essentials of being a member of society. That means learning table manners, good habits and routines, the importance of responsibility and accountability, and of course, competition. And what’s the best way to introduce your child to a competitive world than signing him or her up to play a sport? It’s an effective tool, especially if your child is interested, but it’s not without its challenges. This will be a confusing transition for your child. Here’s what you need to know about how to be the best youth sports parent you can be. It all starts with recognizing in advance what kinds of obstacles you will encounter.
When your child scores a goal or makes a basket, you’ll witness him or her experience a surge of excitement. You will see bliss in its purest form envelop your child for those few seconds. When he or she misses, has the ball stolen, or makes a mistake, you will see a stark contrast. The fact that your child will be making mistakes in front of an audience as opposed to in the privacy of your home adds an entirely new element of pressure. High reward and public humiliation in quick succession is a lot to take in at this age. In short, youth sports could potentially provide your child the opportunity to build confidence, learn to deal with failure and rejection and stay in shape. But on the other hand, it can also potentially be devastating. A lot of this depends on you.
Your job is to support and encourage. But also, you must remember how these events will influence your child’s development. What your child learns on the field, court, or rink could translate into life outside of the sport in a negative way. If poorly managed, you could be teaching your child to be selfish or aggressive towards others. You will have a responsibility to push your child to be his or her best when playing, but you must also make the effort to distinguish between playing a sport and interacting with people in real life.
There are a number of potentially damaging things you may naturally feel inclined to do. Most commonly, parents tend to live vicariously through their children, often to a fault. There’s no shame in being proud of your child, but when you force your own interests upon him or her, you could be impeding his or her development.
Another crucial mistake that you should absolutely work to get away from is the confusion between a sacrifice and an investment. When you spend money so that your child can play a sport, this is a sacrifice for your child’s development and hopefully for his or her enjoyment. You should not view what you spend on your child as something that will yield returns. Because what results from this sentiment is just bitterness, which ultimately can grow to be very unhealthy for your relationship with your child.
If you think you’re noticing some developmental impediments and are interested in seeking out some extra guidance for your son or daughter, give The Counseling Center a call today at 914-793-3388. We are a child therapy Westchester NY based counseling company with the skills and experience to ensure that your child blossoms into excellence. With hard work, a commitment to recovery, and the guidance from our psychotherapy Westchester NY services, you can rest assured that tomorrow will be a step in the right direction.