As a mom of five kids, I have been around the metaphorical block if you will. My oldest three kids have been involved in a countless activities from sports teams to competitive dance to chorus to acting. As a result of my kids wanting to try/explore different activities throughout their childhood, I have intersected paths with a variety of parenting types and parenting styles.
My oldest son is 15-years-old and plays amateur ice hockey. He has played on varied leveled teams for various organizations over the past six years. I’m not sure what it is about this sport, whether it is the checking or the physicality that makes parents so intense both at game time and in practice situations, but this intensity seems to bring out the worst in parents. I understand that parents want what’s ‘best’ for their son/daughter in terms of ice time/accolades, but the amount of goals or ice time your son/daughter has, is not a result of your parenting, nor is it a reflection of you as a parent. I am not living through my son nor am I trying to regain some lost high school glory.
Rather, what it a reflection of my parenting is how my son listens to and respects his coaches, how he works hard during practice, tries to understand and implement what is being taught, and how he treats teammates and opponents both in winning and losing situations. My son is not always going to get along with coaches and teammates, but a level of respect is required both on and off the ice.
My son, probably like your own children will not play professional sports (sorry Owen). But he thoroughly enjoys the sport of ice hockey. I believe that hockey can be considered a life sport; so much learned in this game can be applied to later life. From his hockey ‘career’ he has developed friendships, an ability to get along with difficult personalities and a knowledge of what it is like to be part of a team–not just being an individual star seeking scoring title, but working with his line mates for a collective goal achieved through cooperation, communication and practice.
I hope other parents will join me and allow their kids to shine– on their own– in the activities of their choosing. And know that your child’s performance whether he/she had a great game or a lousy game is not a reflection of you, but how they treat others both on and off the field/ice is in fact a reflection of you as a parent.