Raw Thoughts on Why Kids These Days are So Hard on Themselves
I also keep hearing about how “kids these days” seem to feel more stressed and overwhelmed than ever before. They seem to be under so much pressure …
We, as a society, are quick to blame social media and technology.
But what if it that’s just a symptom rather than THE problem?
What if by laying blame outside ourselves, we are giving away the power we have to inspire positive changes?
What if the place we really need to take a good look hard look at is the mirror, and how we choose to interact with our kids, not just in sports, but in life?
Are we putting pressure on them without even realizing it?
Are we so hard on them that they’ve internalized that and made it their default for everything? Are we so hard on ourselves that they learn from our example?
Here are two scenarios I have lived for years without stopping to think about the deeper effects it had on my children …
If you think other people are judging YOU based upon your child’s behavior, you’re right.
But whether or not you choose to FEEL judged, or give any power to their judgement, is up to you.
If you feel like YOUR worth, or value, as a parent (or human being) is dependent upon your child and their mistakes or perfection, their success or failure, you ARE unintentionally adding pressure, and quite a massive burden really, upon their shoulders that doesn’t need to be there.
It is incredibly freeing, for both them, and you, when you remove it.
Your child does not bear the responsibility of proving YOUR worth to the world. You are amazing and incredible and valuable in your own right. (more on that here)
We tell our children, time and time again, that the scoreboard (outcomes/results) do not define them … and yet, we often choose to let their outcomes/results (which include behavior) define us. Why?
You do not have to keep doing that 😉
Never Good Enough
We think it’s “accountability” and our “responsibility” to “nip it in the bud” constantly. But what message does that send?
How does that FEEL on the receiving end?
Example: No matter how many As and Bs I get, if I get one C or D or, God forbid, an F … none of the good grades matter. My parents only focus on the bad grade.
(All the effort I put forth wasn’t worth it, it’s never enough)
Example: Even if I get mostly As, their response is, cool … do you think you can get even more/all As next time?
(Still not enough, no matter how well I do)
Example: Even if I do ALL my chores every day and, ONE day, it’s not perfect, none of what I did matters. They get all upset anyway. Why do I even try? They’re never satisfied.
(Nothing you manage to do right is ever enough and the bad cancels out any good that may have been achieved)
Is it any wonder they view the game this way too?
No matter how well it goes, “ugh, I made an error” … and, they’ve learned, the proper response is to be unhappy, upset, grumble and complain, rant and rave about what went wrong rather than keeping it all in perspective and also acknowledging all that went right.
You see, even when you have a fantastic, positive, shake it off, you got this, just keep going attitude as a sports parent …
What you are doing, how you are being, how your are relating to and interacting with your children, day in and day out, in every day life, matters even more.
How can you take what you know about being a positive sports parent and apply it to real life too, because the truth is, it matters even MORE there <3