Rivalries in sports are as old as the sports themselves. We love cheering our team on to victory and (on occasion) smashing the other team’s dreams. There is a line though which is crossed a lot which (at the least) is unhealthy. The line I am referring to happens with our children in the arena of sports all the time. Specifically, when a parent teaches their child to hate a rival.
Tag Archive for Parenting
A question was posed to me recently about what age is the right place to start to get an allowance and what the conditions should be. Here are my thoughts and they may surprise you a bit.
We are living in an age where red pens are not allowed to be used by some teachers in schools because the ink gives the wrong message. We are also living in a time when everyone on a youth sports team receives a trophy no matter the team’s record or the child’s contribution. Finally, we are living in a moment where teachers aren’t allowed to fail a child in some schools. I don’t have the definitive answer as to when recognition should be given. That answer comes down to your core values as a parent. What I can do though is to tell you how the best parents I have ever seen work with this issue and how your humble writer approaches the issue with his own children.
In light of the headlines coming from Penn. State University and the horrific events which appear to have happened, I’d like to relay a quick story and the lesson I learned when it comes to the suspected abuse of children.
I don’t want to assume everyone knows this story so here’s the short version. An assistant coach named Jerry Sandusky is being charged with sexually abusing minors in the locker room of Penn State. These actions happened on several occasions over the course of years. Coach Joe Paterno was notified of what was going on but to what extent isn’t clear. It was enough though for him to report the matter to his athletic director. What happened afterwards is nothing short of a major cover up. The weeks and months ahead though will most likely shed more light on what is already a heinous tragedy. Here is a timeline as to what has happened. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/09/penn-state-scandal-timeline-jerry-sandusky_n_1084204.html
In my opinion, this is a sad time for Paterno because of the legacy he built at Penn State. But, it also reminds me of a story that happened in my teaching career which could have served Paterno well.
Regular readers of this blog know my focus is on helping with their children. I take a lot of pride in knowing what a difference I have made through your comments and emails. Today’s topic will be a bit different but very effective if utilized properly.
One aspect of parenting underutilized is taking pride in you. By this I mean not just as a parent but as a person. Many people I know don’t want to toot their own horn because it is not in their nature. Regardless, if you aren’t tooting your own horn for the good you do- who will?
Now, you may ask why this is important. The answer is pretty simple. You are modeling for your child what pride looks like. This is different than when the child does something good and you clap for them. When you take pride in something you do, the child receives a visual which is totally different than the feeling the child gets when they take pride in themselves.
Here is an example of what I am getting at. I take a lot of pride in writing this blog and my children know it. Because I take pride in my work, my children look up to me in a different way than if I were only doing this because it was my job. Don’t get me wrong, a parent can certainly take pride in their career. I’m saying that because I take pride in myself with blogging, I give my kids another reason to be proud of me. Because my kiddos are proud of what I do, it helps in other areas such as academics, athletics, and discipline.
Another way to think about this is to picture a dad you know who doesn’t have a job and responds by getting drunk all the time. Do you believe the father is proud of himself for what he is doing? Do you think children with this type of father can take pride in what their dad is doing? If your answers to these questions are “no” then we are on the same page.
Therefore, my message to you today is this. Think about something you do every day that you are proud of and let it show in your actions and in your work. When you do this, your child will respond positively to you which will cause a lot more happy times in the long run and fewer problems as well. Also, be proud of what you have accomplished with your parenting. Though we’ve all made mistakes, giving ourselves a pat on the back for the good we have done for kids is well deserved!
I’ll check in with you again Friday and I hope you have a great week!