I felt I was failing to my child at least in two important aspects of her performances; I expected her to win or get at least 9.0 every time she competed; the other failure was my disappointment whenever she fell over from the balance beam or uneven bars. I would not tell her I wasn’t satisfied with her results but she would sense it anyway.
I came across some very interesting short documents providing practical guidance for parents having children competing in sports.
I’d like to share two paragraphs that made me realize there is a better way to look at our children’s performance. You may find them helpful too.
“One day I realized that everything on this list was based on my aspirations, and worst of all, my ego. It was all about ME! This list was based entirely on what would make me feel satisfied. It required nothing of me, and everything from my kids. No wonder my kids felt pressured.”
From What do you really want? at http://growingchampionsforlife.com/ParentAsHero/Gymnastics/WhatYouReallyWant.php
“Trisha’s dad could sense that his daughter was chasing trophies whenever she competed. Perhaps it was partly his fault because of comments he made like, “If you try harder you can win a medal too.” Now she seemed to tighten up during competitions and her movements didn’t look natural or confident.”
From A New Definition of Winning at http://growingchampionsforlife.com/ParentAsHero/Winning.php
After reading these simple and instructive documents, I felt a lot happier with my child’s performance no matter what she did, and also learned to better congratulate her irrespective of her scores. More specifically, I would tell her something around “Wow… you are learning more and becoming better and better!” most every time. Now she’s not under that feeling of pressure any more and more importantly, she is more confident at competitions.