I have been pondering on this for a few weeks now. I have seen a trend that really bothers me, and that it is when parents make excuses just to keep their kids in a “bubble”. Yesterday I was caught off guard while I was at my son’s soccer game. Let me set up the scenario, he is 4 and most of his teammates are 4 and 5. So, not a very serious/competitive league. My daughter (8 y.o.) and I were on the side lines watching the game and my son scored the first goal in the first couple of minutes. I am not saying he is a protege, but he is one of the few kids on the team that actually knows what’s going on and is trying to do something. With that being said, he started scoring a few more goals, which lead my daughter to be very excited as she was cheering for the team. We were up 4 to 1 when a dad from OUR team, asked MY daughter to tone down her excitement. WHAT??!!! I looked at him and his excuse was, “the other teams feelings might get hurt because she is too excited”. REALLY??? So I looked at him and said, “Well, we know how it feel to lose, and that’s OKAY! That’s what make us grow!
I am not talking about bullying or poor sportsmanship, I am simply talking about CHEERING! Why would any parent want to keep their child in such a bubble that they can’t experience failure at early age. We have a whole generation of young adults that have never lost at their games and have shelves full of “participation trophies” and when reality hits them, they just run home to live with their parents.
My goal as a parent is to raise resilient adults that can thrive in the real world. And having them fail while young is the best way to teach them how to rise up and overcome their issues. I want my kids to be able to speak up when it is needed. Now more than ever, we need to teach our kids to stand up for what’s right, to speak up for those who are afraid. Let’s expect more of our kids and let’s raise the bar. Let’s not belittle them by saying “they are just kids”. Let’s give them the tools to succeed and watch them soar!