10 Ways Parents Can Make Athletes Happy
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Itâ€™s sad to say, but our youth-sports culture doesnâ€™t necessarily support kids playing just for the fun of it. Parents often feel pressured to raise â€œsuccessfulâ€ kidsâ€”and pass that stress on to their kids to the tune of heavy expectations. The result? Kids either buckle and quit, or play without enjoying it.
It doesnâ€™t have to be this way, of course, and you have the power to create a better environment. So how do you keep your kids engaged and having fun? Here are ten ways parents can keep kids happy:
Keep winning in perspective. Happy-kid parents know learning and growing are just as important (if not more so) than any big win.
Let children push themselves. Over-controlling and pushing a child is not going to help anyone in the long run.
Be a parentâ€”not a coach. This means, before the game, during the game and after the game. Unless a young athlete asks for help, let the coach do the coaching.
Encourage kids to have fun. Emphasize the meaning of â€˜playâ€™ when communicating about sports with your children.
Show love, no matter what. And remember: Love is expressed in words and actions.
Know when to keep quiet. Avoid saying the first thing that comes to mind after your child has a hard game or comes home venting. Give them space and think before you speak.
Acknowledge your childâ€™s strengths. Donâ€™t compare your young athlete to other players or siblings.
Encourage children to experience life outside of sports. It will help them grow into well-rounded individuals.
Remind kids not to worry. Let them know most of what they might worry about today wonâ€™t matter in a few years, or even next season.
Focus on the end game. Remind yourself of what you hope your child can have and do in lifeâ€”overall.
Janis Meredith is a family life coach who wants to help all parents raise champions. You can find out more at rcfamilies.com.