I often think about the old days when I was a kid. The good times we had and how we always found ways of having fun without the electronic distractions of today. One of my fondest memories as a kid was playing Tweeter in the winter. Unless you grew up in Winnipeg back in the early 70’s you likely won’t know what I mean by Tweeter. Tweeter was a street hockey game invented by kids on the street.Read More
As a parent, you may ask yourself, “what’s the big deal? So my kid has stopped playing sports. He will find other things to do with his life.” You may be right, but I would ask you to consider a few things:
Why did they start playing organized sports? Was it because you encouraged them? Was it their idea? Did they get into it because their friends were playing sports too? Regardless of the reason, I would venture to guess that they had fun. Mostly because they were playing with kids their age, their friends and some who became their friends.
I often think about the days when I played volleyball, not as a kid, but rather as a young adult. Whether it was on the beach, indoor for league or mixed grass tournaments, they were good times. I have fond memories of the friends I made (and still have) and the competitions, which seemed to make it all worthwhile. But to appreciate why the adult world of sports was so dear to me, you have to understand where it all began: when I spawned a love to play sports. Any sport!
It all started with me playing sports as a kid. A pick-up game of baseball, street hockey or basketball to name a few. Organized sports taught us me the basics and finer points of the game, but the impromptu touch football game or the 500-and-your-up baseball game (anyone remember that one?) is what made it all fun. When I was in my teens, we used to frequent the junior high school during the summer where they ran a drop-in centre. We would play basketball during the day, volleyball at night. It was all unplanned, unorganized, mixed with guys and girls, and highly competitive. I so looked forward to those summer days back then.
I never wanted to stop playing sports after high school, and I did not. But why do so many of today's kids stop playing sports after high school? Don't they know what they're missing? I'm not saying all stop, but many do. Is it because they were pressed so hard by their overbearing parents to succeed at all costs in their athletic endeavours that they finally said, no more?
When your adult child no longer plays sports, they are being denied so many great experiences. Social interaction, physical conditioning, lots of fun and more!
However, those that do still play get it. In June of this year, I was at the Steveston Salmon Festival in Richmond, BC, and there was a large grass tournament taking place. There had to be 30 or more courts with teams playing reverse mixed 4's on a grass field. The event was well attended with lots of young people, playing hard and having fun. Many a married couple have come out of these types of athletic events. I met my spouse at one of those events, and it was the best thing that could ever have happened to me.
So whatever your kids interests are, whether its sports, music, camping or the arts, if you push them so hard that it is no longer fun, they will stop playing in their tracks. Maybe not when they are still under your roof, but when they leave they may never ever play again. Not the kind of parental risks anyone should be toying with, don't you think?
Some helicopter parents just never learn. They’ve been able to stick handle their way through the school system and the sports world for their children, and are now ready to move on to bigger and better things, the career. There are some unbelievable stories out there about parents who will stop at nothing to micro-manage their adult child’s world.Read More
It is remarkable what you can get out of children when they are away from their parents. They will tell you things that will make you smile, and make you cry. In the focus group sessions with kids, it wavered not. I wish I would have taken video. However, I found this wonderful blog with some great content and this video,Read More
Then there are those parents… You know the ones. The ones who yell out instructions to their kids from the bleachers. The ones who just can’t help themselves. How many different people need to tell them to “watch the tight end, he’s going deep” or “shoot the puck”? That’s what coaches are for, remember? But the issue persists. The self-proclaimed sideline parent coach.Read More
It’s never a good story when people take things too far. Over-parenting is the classic gone-too-far trait. Sometimes the consequences can be devastating to the relationship between parent and child. I had a recent conversation with a friend of mine who shared a not so great experience.
John, a former baseball pitcher back in the day, who spent some time in the minors (a short time) is now actively involved with coaching. He is a good coach, but a bit intense.Read More
We love to say things to our kids like “when I was your age, we never had more than 3 channels on our television, and they were all in black and white.” Our parents did it to us and we do it to our kids. Truth be known, there is always something to learn from our forefathers. Often, kids don’t want to listen to us because they think they know better. Every once and awhile though, a person of notoriety, a hero from the past will say something that leaves a mark. I grew up in the days of the six original national hockey league teams, and one of my favourite players to watch was Bobby Orr.Read More
Only one week away from the official launch of my first book “The Hovering Game” and I am bursting with anticipation and excitement. The support from the local sports community, family and friends has been amazing. I never realized how big the helicopter parenting behaviour problem was, but it touches everyone.Read More
When I speak to people about the ever-growing problem of helicopter parenting in our society, I like to relate back to the route problem, where the real war is. You see, helicopter parenting is one of the symptomatic battles that are being fought in the war against human sedentary behaviour. We drive more, walk less; we view TV, phones and computers more; we exercise less and consume more. All first world nations (and the others are starting to follow suit) are dealing with a decline in their population’s physical health due to these new millennial habits.
It is a war on many fronts. I would like to address the Pyramid Battle that is being fought at three levels: government (top), sport organizations (middle) and parents (bottom).Read More