raise good human beings...please.
I posted the following on my personal Facebook feed recently. It wasn't aimed at a specific person or group, it was something that was trying so hard to come out of my heart due to many different situations and reasons. I'm going to add a little bit to the bottom of this post to touch on some other points as well.
To the parents of young athletes-
We need to remember that we are raising our children to be good human beings, not superstar athletes. Sports can teach our children so many wonderful things-to be a team player, to have perseverance and drive, to develop a work ethic, to learn respect, to go after the things they want, to understand failure and loss, to develop a sense of community and many other things not listed here. They develop friendships through sports and learn how to communicate with adults. Sports can help develop confidence and self-esteem. It truly is rewarding in so many ways.
However, more and more often, parents of athletes lose focus on what is most important for their children to learn. Kindness, compassion, empathy, understanding, humility, integrity and common courtesy are often lost when a young athlete is constantly being told how great they are. How they are the ‘best’ and that they are ‘better’ than other players on their team. When a young athlete is constantly being put up on a pedestal, higher than everyone else around him-it becomes really hard to teach them about the things that matter the most. Having a child that is a good athlete is pretty far down the ladder of importance when it comes to real life.
Supporting your child’s dreams is a good thing! I wouldn’t change anything that we’ve done over the last 10+ years of intense training and practice that we’ve allowed our son to do. All along the way, there have been very important lessons learned. We’ve always supported his dreams, but never have we told him he was the ‘best.’ There are thousands upon thousands of athletes like him out there. The one thing that I have always said to him is ‘I don’t care if you are a good athlete, but I want you to be a good person.’ My opinion of him doesn’t change whether he receives awards and accolades, or whether he sits the bench. Whatever he does, I want him to do it well and with integrity.
We need to get out of this mindset that we have to constantly tell our children how great they are-all of the time. Help them build their confidence and understand their self-worth, but for the love of God, please stop putting them up on a pedestal. They will come crashing down one day, and you may not be there to catch them. It’s not our job to catch them, it’s our job to guide them. Entitlement is not something that will help them as they grow and become young adults. Teach them how to be good human beings, to learn the things that they need to be successful but compassionate adults.
I’ve told my son many times that my goal in life is to not raise an a@@hole. My husband says the same thing. That may offend you, but it’s the truth. I want him to achieve his dreams, but not at the price of his integrity. That matters to me more than any award, playing time on the field or his chance to continue playing a sport in college. I want him to be a good human being. Please, let’s keep raising good human beings and stop trying to create superstar athletes.
What I want to add to this, and highlight, is that this doesn't just pertain to little athletes. This pertains to all children that we are raising. Teach your children to be inclusive of everyone, even if they look or act different. Teach your children to open doors for people and to say 'thank you' and 'please.' Teach them that being a good human being is more important than any school award or good grades they get. Teach them to approach the kid that is sitting or eating alone at school. Teach them that sometimes they will fail-and that is okay. Teach them why that is okay. Teach them to be their own person, not to fulfill your dreams or desires for them. Teach them to speak out when they see something wrong, not to sit in silence for fear of what others think. Teach them that they don't always get what they want because it's not meant for them. Teach them that there are consequences for their actions. Teach them that they are responsible for the things they say and what they do.
How do we teach them all of these things? By doing it ourselves. Be a good human being so that you can teach your children to be one as well.
Love and Light~
I am a wife, mom, photographer, avid reader, Yoga enthusiast, nature lover, traveler, adventurer, and child of God, who loves to learn about anything and everything and is just trying to help others see the beautiful beings that they are! Welcome to the blog for my website. Here you will find articles about many, various items of interest. I am a Reiki Practitioner, Life Coach, Yoga Instructor, Energy Healer, Astrologer, custom Mala Creator and your go-to for the support that you have been looking for. Thank you for stopping in!