Any parent with a child in sports automatically assumes the role of cheerleader. For some, this responsibility comes naturally to them and is a joy to fulfill while others struggle to keep the boredom or lack of interest from showing. Regardless what your opinion is on your child’s recreational activities, are you aware of the significant role you play in your child’s success?
They Look up to You
From the moment they enter the world, they not only look up to you physically but also for guidance in how to interact with the world around them. Even when you’re not watching, they’re watching you. In other words, your attitude matters! If you’re words and attitude suggest that you don’t see significance in the activity or taking practice seriously, your child will likely develop a similar outlook.
They Will Progress at Their Speed
For many parents, seeing your child outperforming the competition is what it’s all about–WRONG! Most often, your child is just interested in having fun. Try not to put added pressure by comparing their performance against other children. We all have our own strengths and weaknesses: where one person excels another may need practice. Remind your child the only person they should compete with is themselves. Self-progress is the only progress that matters.
Let the Coach or Instructor Do Their Job
When you feel the sudden urge to get out of your chair and coach your child on how he or she is performing, sit back and let it pass. Whether your child is in swimming lessons or learning baseball, the coaches/instructors are there for a reason, so let them do their job! Sometimes it’s best to let someone without the emotional attachment teach and develop your little one’s skills.
Remember, Be Their Cheerleader!
A parent’s approval can have a big impact on a child. If you appear disinterested in their activities then they will feel it lacks importance. On the flip side, if you’re cheering and giving encouraging feedback on their performance, this will not only help validate their efforts but also encourage them to try even harder in the future.