In our social media savvy world, it can be easy for parents to compare their children’s accomplishment, especially when it comes to athletics. As proud parents, we want to boast to our networks, but that can turn on us when we feel like our child hasn’t progressed at the same rate as other children. This is most evident when it comes to athletic endeavors. It’s easy to let the pressure creep in to learn to swim perfectly, be the best soccer player or be able to hit the ball accurately in Little League.
So what’s a possible remedy?
Stop! Take the pressure off! Let your kid be a kid!
One of the mom’s on our OrganWise Guys Mom’s Council shared the incredible pressure that she felt trying teach her young son to swim. After a session of swim lessons, he still experienced terror whenever he hit the pool. An ah-ha moment for her was when she bought him a pair of goggles and a diving stick. Suddenly her terrified son became a little fish as he scrambled for the stick and made funny faces with mom underwater. Not only that, they were having fun together and making lifelong memories.
So how can you practically live out this principal in our uber-competitive world?
- Go out and play with them. No rules, no formal competition – just throwing the ball around, setting up sprints on your street, juggling the soccer ball, etc. They are developing skills while having fun.
- Try new activities and if you’re child doesn’t enjoy them, try something else. It make take a while to find the activity that they really enjoy.
- Make sure you are not putting your expectations on your child. It took me years to get over my hatred of running after a middle school track experience. My dad really wanted me to run track and I always felt the shame of being one of the slowest kids to finish.
Your kids won’t be kids for long. The memories you make by spending time playing will be ones you all treasure. And, if you do raise the next Olympic athlete, you’ll still have a great story to share!