Day 251 – Why Can’t They All Have Equal Playing Time?

Blog (27)If you have a child, then most likely at some point, you have felt the heart ache when something doesn’t go their way. And I’m not talking about not making a team or getting in the cast of the play.

Because there is of course great disappointment when that doesn’t happen. I’m talking about the pain about not getting the next thing. There always seems like there is one more thing out of their reach.

In sports it could be the amount of playing time they get. With the band or the choir perhaps it’s a solo performance. And drama could be the lead character. Or perhaps winning an award.

And here is where growing up can be so difficult.

When they were little, every kid (if you had a good coach) gave equal playing time to the kids. But as they matured, and sport got more competitive, the equality starts to shift. So the kids have to learn to adjust.

And so do the parents. Often, this is where the true problems begin. Because you, as a parent, are going to support your child. And you are going to believe that there is no one better. We are biased because we have to be. They are our children. If your child then happens to not be seen in the eyes of the coach as the superstar you see, then the conflict can begin.

Over the years my kids have been selected and not selected for teams. And while it has hurt to watch them with their disappointment, we have tried hard as parents to make sure the kids see the selections as an okay thing. That it is just one team, one incident, and not the last opportunity. My youngest has had a year of being selected for amazing opportunities including teams travelling to Germany and Hong Kong. But he also didn’t make a couple teams he wanted to make. He was, of course, disappointed but in both cases it worked out far better for him than if he had made it.

I just wish parents could relax a bit more. Because the more they feed into the egos of their kids, the better the chance that they won’t be able to cope when the time comes.

And no matter what it is, not every kid gets to win. Not every kid gets the lead roles or the starting positions.  We may not agree with every decision a coach or teacher may make. But that is their decision to make. Our role as a parent is to make sure our child understands this and do their best to ensure their child respects these decisions. As difficult as it may be sometimes.

Have you had to pick up the pieces from a disappointed child? What were the best messages you gave your child?

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