Why do we push kids to be mini athletes? It's a fact that less than 1% of all high school athletes will be professional athletes one day. And we all know that many of the little 5 year olds playing sports will not even play high school sports. So why do we push out little ones to play so perfectly??
Our 5 year old is playing t-ball in for our local little league this year. At a recent game a father repeatedly yelled directions at his young son. Every time the boy was in the field we would hear "Jacob stand up! Jacob look at the ball! Jacob pay attention!" And on and on. When he was up to bat the father was yelling over the fence how to stand. Now I'm not saying that a parent should never give directions, I yell directions occasionally. But this was excessive. Every few seconds this father way yelling.
I can't help but wonder what will happen to the self-esteem of children treated like this as they grow. How will a child like this boy handle failure? He is going to have such big shoes to fill. What if he just simply can't do it?
It's a fact that kids want to please their parents. Even though they won't say it and some times it won't seem as though they want to please their parents, in their hearts they do. As parents we need to teach our children to do their best. Don't set expectations too high. Allow room for failure and teach them how to cope with failure.
Teach your children that it's ok to miss the ball. It's ok to strike out. Even if there are 2 outs and the bases are loaded. It's ok to strike out. It's ok. What's important is that they try their best. It's important that they get up the next inning and try again.
Foster resilience, push for growth and allow for failure. Don't strive for perfection, they will only let you down if do.