Parents' Roles and Responsibilities
Last Updated: January 26, 2009 9:43 AM
Cal Botterill The Parental Guide
Encourage your child to participate
Children should be encouraged to participate in a sport; however, they should not be pressured, intimidated or bribed into it. For children to continue pursuing an activity, they need to find it enjoyable and intrinsically motivating. By researching opportunities and making their own choices, children can learn a great deal. Parents can be a big help by being open-minded and encouraging.
Enyoy your child's participation
Participation in a sport can be an important component of children's lives. Resolve to simply enjoy their participation as much as you can.
Parents who acquire an understanding of their young athletes' sports (basic rules, skills, and strategies) are better able to understand their children's performance. Realize and trust that in most programs, physical, technical, tactical, psychological and social development are all being worked on. During this process, your children's focus should be on acquiring new skills, improving performance and, of course, having fun.
Support your child emotionally
Sport programs have many demands - children need to know parents are always part of support resources.
Help young athletes to constructively manage the stress associated with training and competition by offering support regardless of the outcome. Listen and empathize. Try to understand how children feel about what is happening to them. Fear, anger, guilt, embarrassment, surprise, sadness, happiness and enthusiasm are all emotions of life - sport is a great place to learn to manage them!
Learn to accept the full range of emotions that are being experienced by both young athletes and yourself. Help children share, interpret and process their feelings and don't be afraid to do the same with your own feelings.
Finally, support children by going to as many of their games and competitions as possible. Be there for their triumphs and their defeats.« Key issues for sports parents: Your child's performance | The Parental Guide home | Hockey conditioning on wheels »