Most parents are great at praising and encouraging their children from the first moments of their lives. We celebrate every little thing that our children do. They wave bye-bye and we gush. They say their first word and we call all our family and friends to share the news. They take their first steps, and we are over the moon with pride. But something happens when our child enters the world of competitive activities like Little League or ballet. Our once easily dispensed praises turn into “helpful” suggestions, corrections, and even criticisms. Sometimes correction and critique are necessary, but it’s more important to be your child’s fan. Here’s a code of conduct to help you cheer your child on to success.
- I will remember my child first. Consider what makes your child feel most supported. Be proud of her for just doing her best.
- I will cheer my child on. Cheering your child on is something that happens during and after a game. Children need as much support during practice as they do during the game. Additionally, be an example to all the other parents as you commend your child for his efforts. There’s always something good to say about your child even if he lost the game.
- I will encourage my child to do better. Keep in perspective why your child is playing the sport. The purpose is to enjoy and learn the sport; that learning never stops. There are always new techniques and sciences to consider behind proper performance. As long as your child is bettering himself and enjoying the sport, avoid having a negative attitude about whether he wins or loses.
- I will remember to have fun. As parents, we need to remember to enjoy the games, traveling, and practices. Your child wants to see you having as much fun in cheering her on as she is having running around the field. She needs to see your joy whether she wins, loses, or ties.
Keeping these things in mind should allow for you and your child to continue enjoying the game! Happy sporting!
Have any of you struggled to be a fan and not another coach? If so, how did you handle it?