“Children aren’t coloring books. You don’t get to fill them in with your favorite colors.” Dr. Wayne Dyer”
Does your child play a sport? Is she playing because she wants to or because of you and her desire to make you happy? Are you a supportive and appropriately involved parent or are you over the top, over-involved when it comes to her game? One of the very hardest jobs parents have to do is to allow their child to gradually grow up as his/her own person with separate interests, likes and dislikes, emotions, and needs. As parents we want our children to make the “right” choices and follow the “right” path but who are we to say that our “right” is more right than theirs? We think that we know what’s best, but this is only because we look at the world through the distortions of our own eyes. Perhaps we had a tough and disappointing childhood. Maybe we were the one always picked last for the team. With two left feet we were always mediocre at best. Now with our athletically inclined son or daughter, we finally have a chance to even the score and vicariously make up for all that early pain through their performance excellence. If only they would make better use of all their talent and ability. If only they practiced longer and harder. If only you had had half of their talent! As Dyer put it, children are not coloring books that we get to fill in with our favorite colors. They are completely separate, continually growing-towards-independence human beings who need our unconditional love and support without the extra added burden of guilt because they may not be doing everything exactly the way that we may want them to. Listen very carefully to your children. Before you speak or act, carefully put yourself in their shoes. Respect their feelings and choices. Encourage and celebrate their growing independence. This will empower them.