Funny article on things parents do to screw up their kids
A friend of mine sent me a very funny article today titled 7 Things Good Parents Do (That Screw Up Kids for Life). Actually, I put it in the category of funny because it’s true.
In particular, pay attention to #5, because it directly applies to a topic I preach on often — what we’re teaching kids when we teach them to win at all costs. Here’s a quick excerpt:
“But let’s face it, you’re not sending your kid off to practice so he can have a good time and make friends. You want some goddamn trophies, so coaches are not above teaching kids how to cut corners, feign injuries and do whatever humiliating damage they can to their opponents, because hey, nothing else matters but winning, right?”
Unfortunately, many people do feel that way — they want the trophies, so whatever it takes to get them is fine by them. This article references an actual study that shows kids who play sports are more likely to cheat in other aspects of their life, such as school. So much for sports teaching positive life lessons.
There’s also a great section on the damaging effects of constantly heaping praise on them, to the point where they can’t handle legitimate criticism when it occurs. It definitely makes coaching much more challenging, because what is coaching if not saying what you’re doing now could be done better? There’s also that element of handing out trophies for participating, which totally negates the idea of having to work hard to earn your reward.
There’s a lot of truth in here, and the article even references legitimate outside studies to prove its points. Be warned, though. There is some profanity in it, so if that sort of thing bothers you approach with caution. I think there is a way to turn it off, but since it doesn’t bother me I didn’t check that part out thoroughly. Still, it’s worth checking out.