In my work as a journalist, I have had the pleasure of meeting Frank Smoll, a respected sports psychologist at the University of Washington.
I wanted to share an article he wrote this spring for ParentMap with 12 Tips for Being a Supportive Sports Parent, things we can make sure we as parents are doing right, such as; Not using sports teams as babysitters, Letting a child’s interest take priority and Being alert to signs of injury. But here’s my favorite:
Don’t live your dreams through your children
All parents identify with their children to some extent and want them to do well. This is natural and healthy. But sometimes parents overidentify, and the child becomes an extension of themselves. Parents who are “winners” or “losers” through their children are experiencing “frustrated-jock syndrome,” which places extreme pressure on children. In such cases, the young athlete must excel or else the parent’s self-image is threatened. Don’t define your own self-worth in terms of how good your children are.
Read the Full ParentMap Article with all 12 Tips for Being a Supportive Parent. And if you interested more detail on Dr. Frank Smoll’s programs to help coaches and parents develop champions in sports and in life, check out Youth Enrichment in Sports: