article on her facebook page and I thought I would jump for joy! Finally! Somebody who thought like I did and wasn't afraid to say it! Even funnier was the fact that just a few days ago I had sat down and started to write a post about this very issue!
Being a competitive gymnastics coach I have seen my share of crazy parents trying to live their dreams through the talents of their children but as a parent I have also encountered many parents who in my opinion wrap their offspring in sugar coated bubble wrap and try to protect them from the realities of life. Sad but true.
My first encounter with one of these parents was back when Marie was in Kindergarten and in private school and they had to do some project that had to deal with the family tree or something. I helped her with gathering the information that was required but then left the rest up to her. I didn't care that she was just four years old, I wasn't about to do her work for her, but obvioulsy I was the mom who didn't help, because it was so obvious that the majority of children in the class had the project done by their parents.
And what about those parents who pay their children money or buy them a present for getting a great report card? Really? Not me, my children are expected to have a good report card because they worked hard and tried their best because they had the desire to do so - not because they knew there was a pot of money waiting to be thrown their way.
Then there are the parents who rush over to their child every time they sneeze or cough with a tissue and sanitizer in their hand and a thermometer ready to be popped into their mouth. These same parents are that special breed that keep their child home from school because they have a stuffy nose. They are also those who run around cleaning anything their child may touch with lysol wipes. Seriously, get a grip! Lysol wipes are not going to keep your child from getting germs..... Is it a wonder that these same children are probably the future hypocondriacts of society? As for my children, well, lets just say that they really need to be an inch away from their death bed before I keep them home - just saying.
And what about the awards and praise we are told by those so called "parenting experts" to lavish daily on our children to help their self esteem? It is ridiculous! Okay I am not saying be negative to your children but do you really think that praising them for EVERYTHING is such a good thing? What does that lead to? I believe it leads to children feeling that they are so wonderful and perfect and that they can do no wrong. Umm yeah okay. Hate to burst the bubble, but yes, your little offspring can, and will do many things wrong and guess what? This is OKAY because this is how we learn. Seriously, you do not have to tell your child that everything he does is great. If he coloured out of the lines - don't tell him what a great job he did. Tell him what a great effort he put forth, and you can see he is getting better at colouring inside the lines - he will totally get the fact that he didn't get everything in the lines and will continue to try to improve on that, and despite what you think, trust me, he WILL NOT BE DEVESTATED! He will appreciate your honesty. Children know when you are shoveling a bunch a crap their way and are giving them the "fake" praise - I truly believe that. Okay call me a bitch now, because I know you want to.
Now that we got all that out, lets talk about the "My kid is a Winner" parent clan. Oh you know them alright and maybe you are even one of them - Despite being the bitch mom, I won't judge. It really irritates me though, that as soon as you sign a child up for hockey, soccer, basketball, whatever, they are already labelled as a winner. Yes I do label my children as you well know, however, my children are learning, and continue to learn that everything is not entitled to them but must be earned.
Not to bring up a story of "back in the day" - but okay I will.
Back in the day when I trained as an elite gymnast I trained about 30 - 35 hrs a week. No shit. A lot of hours agreed, but I certainly didn't recieve a trophy, or medal or any type of award simply for showing up to train each day for ten weeks or so. No my training took place Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday and Sunday. There were several competitions where I didn't recieve any award - not even a "Good job!" But do you think that now as an adult that this is the issue I constantly dwell upon? Absolutely not! Many life skills were learned from both my winning competitions and not even winning a ribbon, and I think I have turned out okay. But now a days are children are given a trophy or medal for "participating." Hate to tell you they haven't earned this award, but you did pay for it - yes that cost of $240 a session includes the cost of a participation award. Here I go again with my bad mom tactics but I make sure to tell my children that the medal or trophy they recieve wasn't for winning or for being a great player, but for participating. I will also tell my children where they showed improvement or excelled, and also the areas that they need to work on. I tell it as it is with no sugar.
As parents we have a choice, to bubble wrap our children and shield them from the realities of life, or to help them become confident and independent adults who know that life is sometimes hard and not fair, but whatever life throws their way, they will be able to handle it.
What type of parent do you think you are? What, if anything, would you like to change?
Until next time,