You would have likely seen or met at least one parent who lives vicariously through their kids. Having coached hundreds of kids in different sports over the last eight years, I have seen plenty of this, and now as a father, I am conscious of how I deal with my daughter and wonder how I will act when she is older.
I think it’s only natural that you introduce your child to the things you love, whether that is a sport or hobby. But how far is too far and where do we draw the line on pushing children too far, and do we recognise that we are pushing our kids to fulfill our broken dreams!
Some signs that you might be living through your child in an unhealthy way:
Pushing your child into a sport they do not like
I believe kids should have the opportunity and should try things. Sometimes they are having a bad day, but if they are not excited to put their sports shoes on or pack their guitar, why force them just because you perhaps are trying to fill a void or want them to succeed in something you didn’t.
Becoming obsessively involved
Are you being too involved that you start to lose interest in your own life? Would this leave a big hole in your identity if your child stopped what you wanted them to do? If so, you may have a problem.
Using bribes or giving punishments
Bribing your child to get ready and do something or punishing them for not going or succeeding is not setting the proper importance on the activity!
Not only screaming from the stands or the sideline in a non-supportive way only makes you look like (a nice term) an idiot, and two, you are getting your own identity intertwined with your child. It also sets a terrible example.
Is your child’s performance or status a direct reflection of you? Social media has made this almost an addictive competition. I am all for happy posts; however, posting your child’s every accomplishment due to your need for attention, you have a problem.
Giving your child the opportunity to participate in things and being there to support them when they need it has to be the most important thing. I don’t think there is a parent out there that does not want their child to succeed, and I am one of them, but I do think there is a way to go about supporting your child that will not negatively impact them or make the parent look like a complete idiot.
I would love to engage in some conversations around this.
Feel free to drop me a message or comment.