Don't have pride for your kids

way up

SILVER
Seems like every parent wants their kid to be the goat. Does anyone hope n guide their kid to use soccer as a tool for a higher education or to become a better person etc., rather than hoping they play soccer to be the next Messi or Lloyd?
My goals with soccer lead to my girl being a well rounded person and to higher education. I truly think there will be a point where she may have to decide if her time would be better spent with more academic/work development rather than club soccer in high school. My girl has a lot of potential, but she is not a goat. Also, I would like to add a preface to my demands of her to try her hardest. She can quit club anytime. She can join AYSO or other sport anytime she wants. She tells me what she wants and I help her follow that path. Part of the pressure and stress in all this is in club, you have to earn your spot.

The ultimate pressure on our kids in club is to make the team. I'm the one that has to tell my 8 year old that she was not chosen to stay on her team. She would cry a lot more about that than me explaining that we have work to do to maintain her spot. Life is hard. Nothing is guaranteed. It's up to you to be relevant and earn your status and position in life. It's up to the parent to help prepare their kids for real life which is not cheap or easy in California. Some will be ready and some will not. I'm preparing my kids to be relevant and to be ready. Others can raise theirs how they want. We'll see what works in due time.

Club soccer is competitive. It is leveled. Not everyone gets playtime. It costs a lot of time and money from the parents. There is pressure and challenge all the way around club soccer for the kid and the parent, period! I kind of like it, because our kids get stronger and more focused. It's not for everyone. People can say whatever they want about pride and pressure on the kids from the parents, but the real pressure is there are tryouts and different flights. Just like there are managers, directors, and executives in business. I would just say the healthiest idea you can provide or try to embellish to your kids is to look at pressure and obstacles as challenges and hurdles in life you must jump over. If you let them stress you out, you're losing the battle imo. If you prepare, work hard, and eventually jump over them no matter what they are, you win the battle regardless.
 
Does everyone here approach their kids academics the same way as far as getting them the best tutors, matching practice and game time with learning and studying as well as a balanced social life?
My kid's (private, high performing elementary school doesn't go beyond 5th grade) class is in the middle of the 5th grade freakouts. Kids are in the middle of taking the ISEE placement exams. Most kids have taken some tutoring (at least for the parents in the know...some were caught unawares), some extensive. It's a god awfully hard exam much worse than the PSATs when I was growing up or even the LSAT (I finished the LSAT...not sure I could finish the ISEE on time and many kids don't). Parents are obsessing about grades (even those going into magnet or charter elementary schools, since honors placements are determined by grades) and the fact that our teacher is relatively old fashioned, hard, and doesn't believe everyone (given this is a class where 75% of them are rated gifted IQ or higher) deserves an A. One family sends their kid straight from class to CLC until dinner time. Another does Kumon, followed by dinner, followed by swimming until 9. One family freaked out when they found out their school frowned on not having a sport. My son on weekdays goes home, hits the books straight away, club soccer til 7, dinner, shower, half hour down time, then final review for tests the next day. It's crazy....the biggest advice I'm giving up and coming parents now is if you are going to do the private school route, do a private school that is all the way to high school and if you are going to do public don't start in private.

My favorite advice comes from Dr. Paul Jenkins. Yeah we wear hats as cops, teachers, coaches, cooks, disciplinarians, nurses, etc. for our kids. Yeah we want to enforce discipline and get them ready. But our primary goal is to love them no matter what and even if. To the extent everything else gets in the way, it must bend, because ultimately we can't ensure the success of our kids...that has to come from themselves....we can just point them the right way.


 

way up

SILVER
My kid's (private, high performing elementary school doesn't go beyond 5th grade) class is in the middle of the 5th grade freakouts. Kids are in the middle of taking the ISEE placement exams. Most kids have taken some tutoring (at least for the parents in the know...some were caught unawares), some extensive. It's a god awfully hard exam much worse than the PSATs when I was growing up or even the LSAT (I finished the LSAT...not sure I could finish the ISEE on time and many kids don't). Parents are obsessing about grades (even those going into magnet or charter elementary schools, since honors placements are determined by grades) and the fact that our teacher is relatively old fashioned, hard, and doesn't believe everyone (given this is a class where 75% of them are rated gifted IQ or higher) deserves an A. One family sends their kid straight from class to CLC until dinner time. Another does Kumon, followed by dinner, followed by swimming until 9. One family freaked out when they found out their school frowned on not having a sport. My son on weekdays goes home, hits the books straight away, club soccer til 7, dinner, shower, half hour down time, then final review for tests the next day. It's crazy....the biggest advice I'm giving up and coming parents now is if you are going to do the private school route, do a private school that is all the way to high school and if you are going to do public don't start in private.

My favorite advice comes from Dr. Paul Jenkins. Yeah we wear hats as cops, teachers, coaches, cooks, disciplinarians, nurses, etc. for our kids. Yeah we want to enforce discipline and get them ready. But our primary goal is to love them no matter what and even if. To the extent everything else gets in the way, it must bend, because ultimately we can't ensure the success of our kids...that has to come from themselves....we can just point them the right way.


We can love them no matter what and do our jobs as parents and guide them to prepare, train, read, listen, and develop both academically and in sports at the same time. LOVE IS ABSOLUTE ABSOLUTELY ALL OF THE TIME! and it is that love that makes us parents do things that are hard like discipline, plan, and say no. It is hard to say no. It is hard to encourage and make them do what they may not want to, but if we didn't, they would not brush their teeth, go to bed at a decent hour, or get off the damn computer and t.v. I don't need a Dr. to tell me how to raise my kids as my family has been doing it for centuries with pretty good results. Every kid is different and more tolerant of different things. One thing I kind of think about is how soft each generation gets and how much tougher it gets for those softer generations.

I read something like 59% of American adults have less than $1k of savings as so many are driving nice cars and eating out 3 or 4 nights a week? How do kids learn how to budget, work, and plan?? It's related to this subject of expectations and guidance imo. I don't think the problem is parents are too hard. I think it's they're too soft, but hey, maybe it's more opportunity for those who are relevant and work hard which is what I'm pushing to my kids. It's worked for centuries for my family! Not trying to be mean, but I really see this country going soft at a time we have enormous debt and insolvency. There will be enormous wealth diversity and so many hands out in the future imo. Well, I can tell you this now. Those hands out won't be my kids if what's worked for centuries continues working! LOL, good luck and love is the most important thing. I get it! I just see love as doing the harder things for what's best for my kids and their academics and sports.
 

way up

SILVER
We can love them no matter what and do our jobs as parents and guide them to prepare, train, read, listen, and develop both academically and in sports at the same time. LOVE IS ABSOLUTE ABSOLUTELY ALL OF THE TIME! and it is that love that makes us parents do things that are hard like discipline, plan, and say no. It is hard to say no. It is hard to encourage and make them do what they may not want to, but if we didn't, they would not brush their teeth, go to bed at a decent hour, or get off the damn computer and t.v. I don't need a Dr. to tell me how to raise my kids as my family has been doing it for centuries with pretty good results. Every kid is different and more tolerant of different things. One thing I kind of think about is how soft each generation gets and how much tougher it gets for those softer generations.

I read something like 59% of American adults have less than $1k of savings as so many are driving nice cars and eating out 3 or 4 nights a week? How do kids learn how to budget, work, and plan?? It's related to this subject of expectations and guidance imo. I don't think the problem is parents are too hard. I think it's they're too soft, but hey, maybe it's more opportunity for those who are relevant and work hard which is what I'm pushing to my kids. It's worked for centuries for my family! Not trying to be mean, but I really see this country going soft at a time we have enormous debt and insolvency. There will be enormous wealth diversity and so many hands out in the future imo. Well, I can tell you this now. Those hands out won't be my kids if what's worked for centuries continues working! LOL, good luck and love is the most important thing. I get it! I just see love as doing the harder things for what's best for my kids and their academics and sports.
My kid's (private, high performing elementary school doesn't go beyond 5th grade) class is in the middle of the 5th grade freakouts. Kids are in the middle of taking the ISEE placement exams. Most kids have taken some tutoring (at least for the parents in the know...some were caught unawares), some extensive. It's a god awfully hard exam much worse than the PSATs when I was growing up or even the LSAT (I finished the LSAT...not sure I could finish the ISEE on time and many kids don't). Parents are obsessing about grades (even those going into magnet or charter elementary schools, since honors placements are determined by grades) and the fact that our teacher is relatively old fashioned, hard, and doesn't believe everyone (given this is a class where 75% of them are rated gifted IQ or higher) deserves an A. One family sends their kid straight from class to CLC until dinner time. Another does Kumon, followed by dinner, followed by swimming until 9. One family freaked out when they found out their school frowned on not having a sport. My son on weekdays goes home, hits the books straight away, club soccer til 7, dinner, shower, half hour down time, then final review for tests the next day. It's crazy....the biggest advice I'm giving up and coming parents now is if you are going to do the private school route, do a private school that is all the way to high school and if you are going to do public don't start in private.

My favorite advice comes from Dr. Paul Jenkins. Yeah we wear hats as cops, teachers, coaches, cooks, disciplinarians, nurses, etc. for our kids. Yeah we want to enforce discipline and get them ready. But our primary goal is to love them no matter what and even if. To the extent everything else gets in the way, it must bend, because ultimately we can't ensure the success of our kids...that has to come from themselves....we can just point them the right way.


Life is more competitive and challenging than ever. College is very expensive and we're all in the rat race. It's only going to get harder too, so parents will do all they can to help their kids. To top it off, all of this is business related from club soccer to these doctors and psychologists to education, etc. etc. Then, you may raise fantastic, healthy, loving children only to marry what may not be as fantastic?? You can't ensure success, but you can try and raise strong, confident, and relevant kids.
We can love them no matter what and do our jobs as parents and guide them to prepare, train, read, listen, and develop both academically and in sports at the same time. LOVE IS ABSOLUTE ABSOLUTELY ALL OF THE TIME! and it is that love that makes us parents do things that are hard like discipline, plan, and say no. It is hard to say no. It is hard to encourage and make them do what they may not want to, but if we didn't, they would not brush their teeth, go to bed at a decent hour, or get off the damn computer and t.v. I don't need a Dr. to tell me how to raise my kids as my family has been doing it for centuries with pretty good results. Every kid is different and more tolerant of different things. One thing I kind of think about is how soft each generation gets and how much tougher it gets for those softer generations.

I read something like 59% of American adults have less than $1k of savings as so many are driving nice cars and eating out 3 or 4 nights a week? How do kids learn how to budget, work, and plan?? It's related to this subject of expectations and guidance imo. I don't think the problem is parents are too hard. I think it's they're too soft, but hey, maybe it's more opportunity for those who are relevant and work hard which is what I'm pushing to my kids. It's worked for centuries for my family! Not trying to be mean, but I really see this country going soft at a time we have enormous debt and insolvency. There will be enormous wealth diversity and so many hands out in the future imo. Well, I can tell you this now. Those hands out won't be my kids if what's worked for centuries continues working! LOL, good luck and love is the most important thing. I get it! I just see love as doing the harder things for what's best for my kids and their academics and sports.

So this is where I try to conclude why it's not pride for my kid's performance or an extension of myself. What I am encouraging and challenging my kids for is ultimately survival for when they are on their own. Mommy and daddy will not always be there. I want independent, successful, and relevant adults as the outcome of all this not for my selfish endeavors, but for my goal of being a parent on the job. I feel like these articles and opinions try to lump in a few bad apples with the general audience of club parents to which I point back to my original opinion, but conclude with the end goal of all of this education and club sports is a healthy, relevant adult ready to take on the challenge of life. I'm not raising snowflakes!
 

Lambchop

GOLD
From Psychology Today...

One of the ways I try to help parents make this distinction is by comparing pride to admiration. While pride refers to a feeling we have for someone as they relate to us, admiration exists independently of this connection.

When parents over-involve themselves with their child’s activities or achievements, they can actually act as a barrier between the child and his or her unique experience. Very often, parents connect to their child in ways that are unintentionally intrusive or possessive. This can be a hard pattern to catch on to, because something like coaching or attending every basketball game your child plays in sounds like a good thing. However, there’s a difference between watching the games and emotionally involving yourself in every win or loss. Parents who shout at the ref from the sidelines or whose mood depends on their child’s performance are treating the game as if they’re playing it themselves.

Parents should try to be attuned to how caught up they feel in their child’s achievements and wary of the times when they cross the line from appreciating their child as a separate person and feeling like the child is almost a part of them—that the child’s achievements are their achievements. For example, when a child is drawing, there’s a big difference between the parent saying, “Look at all the shapes you’re making. I really like the blue triangles. Can you show me how you drew that?” and saying, “Wow, that’s so beautiful. You’re mommy’s little artist. I’m gonna show everybody what you drew for me.” I’ve talked about the problems with offering a child false praise, but one major issue is that it can make a child feel like the achievement isn’t their own—like it’s really all about the parent. This can have a negative effect on the child. I’ve known several kids who’ve actually dropped out of activities they used to love—a sport they excelled at or art forms they were involved in—just because they felt their parent had taken over.

Another problem with pride is that it can come off as pressure. As parents, we can be demanding and critical or praising and prideful, but both sides of the coin can have the same effect; they can make our child feel pressured and disconnected from their own undertakings and accomplishments. Children may feel they have to achieve in order to win their parent’s love. They may feel the added pressure of the parent’s own expectations and how they reflect on their parent.

Parents don’t intentionally do this to hurt their child. Sometimes, they offer praise and build-up in an effort to be encouraging. Perhaps, they didn’t feel supported by their own parents as kids, and they have a tendency to try and compensate. Parents over-involvement with their child’s accomplishments can also stem from parents not feeling good about themselves. They may turn to their children to provide them with self-esteem. They may have a need for their child to accomplish things for which they never had the opportunity or support in an attempt to be connected to the accomplishment.

Parents can catch on to ways they may be over-connecting by noticing when they feel extra attached to their child’s interests or are starting to have that feeling that the child is an extension of them. They may see their child as reflecting on them and feel either overly critical and embarrassed or prideful and accomplished. Children often feel hurt when they don’t feel seen by their parents. When parents only see themselves and their hopes and dreams in their child, they’re robbing themselves of the real joys of knowing their child, and the child is missing the essential experience of being known.
After raising four kids and helping with seven grandchildren, and teaching for thirty-five years, the article has valid points but don't over think the babble . There is no such thing as perfect parenting, and, surprisingly, kids turn out pretty good. Maybe an article on what happens to children who get no attention from their parents would be more timely. Enjoy your children and grandchildren, they grow up very fast.
 

way up

SILVER
After raising four kids and helping with seven grandchildren, and teaching for thirty-five years, the article has valid points but don't over think the babble . There is no such thing as perfect parenting, and, surprisingly, kids turn out pretty good. Maybe an article on what happens to children who get no attention from their parents would be more timely. Enjoy your children and grandchildren, they grow up very fast.
I like this point and we all have different situations. Every kid is different and every time period is different. To keep this pithy, I will merely say I cherish every moment on the field and in our truck on the way to our soccer events and I make sure she enjoys it. I hope everyone does this. Don't ruin this experience for them. We will look back at this time as our best times. There is a balance and I would just add that you may miss many a great moment in their games if you just focus on the score. I just thought about a few at dinner where my daughter took a hard damn shot to the stomach and didn't even blink where last year she'd be on the ground crying. That just might be my most proud moment, because it showed she knew her job and stayed focused. I just shed a tear, so I love the message here. Cherish these moments!
 

Fact

PREMIER
I just thought about a few at dinner where my daughter took a hard damn shot to the stomach and didn't even blink where last year she'd be on the ground crying. That just might be my most proud moment, because it showed she knew her job and stayed focused.
My God. Another Luis.
 
After raising four kids and helping with seven grandchildren, and teaching for thirty-five years, the article has valid points but don't over think the babble . There is no such thing as perfect parenting, and, surprisingly, kids turn out pretty good. Maybe an article on what happens to children who get no attention from their parents would be more timely. Enjoy your children and grandchildren, they grow up very fast.
In the current generation up and coming there's a real split between parents that don't care and parents that are obsessively helicoptering/tiggering their kids. It doesn't follow a neat divide, but is generally more blue than red, more upperclass than working class, more educated than non, more urban than rural (though the generalization falls apart even if you watch something like Friday Night Tykes). Helicoptering and tiggering are different but they both come from the same place: a fear of failure or harm (sometimes irrationally based on the data). As a result, both neglect and overcaring simulataneously seem to be rampant problems in our society (and it's not just high performers in sports or academics...spend a few moments with the special needs lobby and you see it too).

My pet theory (and I have nothing to back this up) is that it's rooted in people having fewer kids. When people had larger families one would probably be successful and one would be the blacksheep--- every family had one. But with fewer eggs in the basket, people worry more about the eggs and have the time and money to do it (in a family of 6 if little Billy is failing math and needs a tutor, little Billy might be out of luck).
 

oh canada

SILVER ELITE
So happy that this thread has generated a lot of discussion and provoked thought. After all, our kids' well-being is top priority. I am an educator (20+ years) and I've seen a lot change in that time with parents in the classroom. I also see this on the soccer field (and other sports too). I am by no means a perfect parent, nor have all the answers to parenting, but thought adding a few things I've noticed through the years would be of further help to those interested...

1) Parents now are definitely more involved with their kids and trying to influence their decisions, their experiences and their development. 20 years ago, parents were much more willing to accept the path that their kids were choosing, that teachers were recommending based upon their expertise, or that fate was providing. This happens more in the middle/upper class school districts and likewise at those soccer (and other sport) clubs too. Cops, Firefighters, cooks and other teachers are much more willing to defer....middle management, white-collar corporate types in middle/upper income groups are much more "involved" in controlling their kids childhood. It may sound like stereotyping, but it's true. The Varsity Blues college admission scandal is Exhibit A. 20 years ago I never heard of parents throwing tantrums because Johnny couldn't be in the same classroom as his best friend Tony. Now, it is commonplace. And as soon as a teacher or admin gives into the behavior, it emboldens that parent and causes other parents to copycat. The same happens in the soccer world--playing time, etc. The ironic thing is that the less you allow your kids to make mistakes and figure out their independence now (ie, the more you try to control now), the more they will be hindered in adulthood.

2) Kids are not as knowledgeable today as they were 20+ years ago. In search of their kid being the best at something, parents are forcing their kids to specialize too early, too young, be it soccer, violin, chess, math etc. That may be good for that particular activity right now, but it will become a burden in the classroom and long term in their careers. We are seeing kids not as creative, not as interested in risk-taking, not as good at multitasking. Why? Because Mom/Dad are helping with homework, having the uncomfortable discussions with coaches/teachers, protecting their kids from any experience of failure, and funneling their kids' into a very narrow skill/learning development track. Not to mention spending more time on the soccer field (or pick your sport) than on learning. How many parents reading this spend time kicking the ball around with your son/daughter each week? I bet a lot of you do. And that's good. I do too (though not as much as when my now teenagers were younger). But now, how many of you also spend the same amount of time or more on learning/creative tasks, problem solving, doing math story problems, building robots/rockets with your kids, writing poetry, reading Tolkien? Most parents are not doing any of that, or they just help with their kids' homework--which is a completely different motivation (getting the "A"). Steve Jobs was one of the most creative and multi-talented people because of his wide array of experiences and education. For example, he credits a calligraphy class he took for providing inspiration for Apple's fonts.

3) Social media has caused parent FOMO to skyrocket. Before Facetrash, Insta, Youtube etc. parents only compared their kids to other kids at their school and the occasional kid who was written about in the newspaper or on the local news. Now, youth sport has become big business and bragging about kids on social media has become even bigger business (not to mention the rankings companies). It takes a strong and confident parent to brush aside the temptations to specialize their child and follow the crowd when every 5 minutes another bell, whistle or vibration is going off in their pocket about another 9 year old 6 states away scoring a goal or winning a trophy. Next time you're feeling this way, just tell yourself, "It doesn't matter." Because it doesn't.

4) I'm now in math/economics and another reason we parents are in this predicament is the relative wealth of this country. I know, I don't feel wealthy either, but our parents and our parents parents spent most of their time trying to figure out how to afford food, car payments, rent and diapers. Not $3-4K for soccer club fees. They didn't have enough free time to drive hours to/from a practice. I was lucky to get a ride home from hockey practice from my Dad, who often worked 12 hour shifts for a boss that didn't give 2 shi**s about what his long term employee's kids were doing in the evenings and on weekends. Things are different now. Parents not only attend all games, but often every practice too. A prior poster mentioned that he's teaching lessons to his daughter about hard work through soccer. When reading this, I thought, how do you know when she's working her hardest? Are you attending every practice and watching how she performs in every drill, for every scrimmage, in every game? Many parents do today and that puts a lot of unnecessary pressure on the kids to be performing "her best" all the time. You don't have good days and bad days at work? And if you are watching for that critical evaluation on the soccer pitch, are you also going to the school and sitting in the classroom every day to make sure she's working her hardest in her academics? Of course not, that would be silly, right?

I violated my own post-length rule--apologies--happy to hear others' continued thoughts -- agreeing or disagreeing both welcomed equally.
 
And if you are watching for that critical evaluation on the soccer pitch, are you also going to the school and sitting in the classroom every day to make sure she's working her hardest in her academics? Of course not, that would be silly, right?
Maybe not the athletics-first parents, but the academics-first parents would totally do that if they were able (and at the younger ages some try to by becoming room moms). The limitations being: 1) at a certain point, the work is just too advanced, and 2) the school obviously won't let you sit there or even visit campus these days (because of security concerns). Don't underestimate the limits of tigering and helicoptering. It's also not just about the grade....though Kumon and CLC help with homework, learning Chinese is not about the grade.
 
So happy that this thread has generated a lot of discussion and provoked thought. After all, our kids' well-being is top priority. I am an educator (20+ years) and I've seen a lot change in that time with parents in the classroom. I also see this on the soccer field (and other sports too). I am by no means a perfect parent, nor have all the answers to parenting, but thought adding a few things I've noticed through the years would be of further help to those interested...

1) Parents now are definitely more involved with their kids and trying to influence their decisions, their experiences and their development. 20 years ago, parents were much more willing to accept the path that their kids were choosing, that teachers were recommending based upon their expertise, or that fate was providing. This happens more in the middle/upper class school districts and likewise at those soccer (and other sport) clubs too. Cops, Firefighters, cooks and other teachers are much more willing to defer....middle management, white-collar corporate types in middle/upper income groups are much more "involved" in controlling their kids childhood. It may sound like stereotyping, but it's true. The Varsity Blues college admission scandal is Exhibit A. 20 years ago I never heard of parents throwing tantrums because Johnny couldn't be in the same classroom as his best friend Tony. Now, it is commonplace. And as soon as a teacher or admin gives into the behavior, it emboldens that parent and causes other parents to copycat. The same happens in the soccer world--playing time, etc. The ironic thing is that the less you allow your kids to make mistakes and figure out their independence now (ie, the more you try to control now), the more they will be hindered in adulthood.

2) Kids are not as knowledgeable today as they were 20+ years ago. In search of their kid being the best at something, parents are forcing their kids to specialize too early, too young, be it soccer, violin, chess, math etc. That may be good for that particular activity right now, but it will become a burden in the classroom and long term in their careers. We are seeing kids not as creative, not as interested in risk-taking, not as good at multitasking. Why? Because Mom/Dad are helping with homework, having the uncomfortable discussions with coaches/teachers, protecting their kids from any experience of failure, and funneling their kids' into a very narrow skill/learning development track. Not to mention spending more time on the soccer field (or pick your sport) than on learning. How many parents reading this spend time kicking the ball around with your son/daughter each week? I bet a lot of you do. And that's good. I do too (though not as much as when my now teenagers were younger). But now, how many of you also spend the same amount of time or more on learning/creative tasks, problem solving, doing math story problems, building robots/rockets with your kids, writing poetry, reading Tolkien? Most parents are not doing any of that, or they just help with their kids' homework--which is a completely different motivation (getting the "A"). Steve Jobs was one of the most creative and multi-talented people because of his wide array of experiences and education. For example, he credits a calligraphy class he took for providing inspiration for Apple's fonts.

3) Social media has caused parent FOMO to skyrocket. Before Facetrash, Insta, Youtube etc. parents only compared their kids to other kids at their school and the occasional kid who was written about in the newspaper or on the local news. Now, youth sport has become big business and bragging about kids on social media has become even bigger business (not to mention the rankings companies). It takes a strong and confident parent to brush aside the temptations to specialize their child and follow the crowd when every 5 minutes another bell, whistle or vibration is going off in their pocket about another 9 year old 6 states away scoring a goal or winning a trophy. Next time you're feeling this way, just tell yourself, "It doesn't matter." Because it doesn't.

4) I'm now in math/economics and another reason we parents are in this predicament is the relative wealth of this country. I know, I don't feel wealthy either, but our parents and our parents parents spent most of their time trying to figure out how to afford food, car payments, rent and diapers. Not $3-4K for soccer club fees. They didn't have enough free time to drive hours to/from a practice. I was lucky to get a ride home from hockey practice from my Dad, who often worked 12 hour shifts for a boss that didn't give 2 shi**s about what his long term employee's kids were doing in the evenings and on weekends. Things are different now. Parents not only attend all games, but often every practice too. A prior poster mentioned that he's teaching lessons to his daughter about hard work through soccer. When reading this, I thought, how do you know when she's working her hardest? Are you attending every practice and watching how she performs in every drill, for every scrimmage, in every game? Many parents do today and that puts a lot of unnecessary pressure on the kids to be performing "her best" all the time. You don't have good days and bad days at work? And if you are watching for that critical evaluation on the soccer pitch, are you also going to the school and sitting in the classroom every day to make sure she's working her hardest in her academics? Of course not, that would be silly, right?

I violated my own post-length rule--apologies--happy to hear others' continued thoughts -- agreeing or disagreeing both welcomed equally.
Thanks for writing this. "Social media is the devil"
 
So happy that this thread has generated a lot of discussion and provoked thought. After all, our kids' well-being is top priority. I am an educator (20+ years) and I've seen a lot change in that time with parents in the classroom. I also see this on the soccer field (and other sports too). I am by no means a perfect parent, nor have all the answers to parenting, but thought adding a few things I've noticed through the years would be of further help to those interested...

1) Parents now are definitely more involved with their kids and trying to influence their decisions, their experiences and their development. 20 years ago, parents were much more willing to accept the path that their kids were choosing, that teachers were recommending based upon their expertise, or that fate was providing. This happens more in the middle/upper class school districts and likewise at those soccer (and other sport) clubs too. Cops, Firefighters, cooks and other teachers are much more willing to defer....middle management, white-collar corporate types in middle/upper income groups are much more "involved" in controlling their kids childhood. It may sound like stereotyping, but it's true. The Varsity Blues college admission scandal is Exhibit A. 20 years ago I never heard of parents throwing tantrums because Johnny couldn't be in the same classroom as his best friend Tony. Now, it is commonplace. And as soon as a teacher or admin gives into the behavior, it emboldens that parent and causes other parents to copycat. The same happens in the soccer world--playing time, etc. The ironic thing is that the less you allow your kids to make mistakes and figure out their independence now (ie, the more you try to control now), the more they will be hindered in adulthood.

2) Kids are not as knowledgeable today as they were 20+ years ago. In search of their kid being the best at something, parents are forcing their kids to specialize too early, too young, be it soccer, violin, chess, math etc. That may be good for that particular activity right now, but it will become a burden in the classroom and long term in their careers. We are seeing kids not as creative, not as interested in risk-taking, not as good at multitasking. Why? Because Mom/Dad are helping with homework, having the uncomfortable discussions with coaches/teachers, protecting their kids from any experience of failure, and funneling their kids' into a very narrow skill/learning development track. Not to mention spending more time on the soccer field (or pick your sport) than on learning. How many parents reading this spend time kicking the ball around with your son/daughter each week? I bet a lot of you do. And that's good. I do too (though not as much as when my now teenagers were younger). But now, how many of you also spend the same amount of time or more on learning/creative tasks, problem solving, doing math story problems, building robots/rockets with your kids, writing poetry, reading Tolkien? Most parents are not doing any of that, or they just help with their kids' homework--which is a completely different motivation (getting the "A"). Steve Jobs was one of the most creative and multi-talented people because of his wide array of experiences and education. For example, he credits a calligraphy class he took for providing inspiration for Apple's fonts.

3) Social media has caused parent FOMO to skyrocket. Before Facetrash, Insta, Youtube etc. parents only compared their kids to other kids at their school and the occasional kid who was written about in the newspaper or on the local news. Now, youth sport has become big business and bragging about kids on social media has become even bigger business (not to mention the rankings companies). It takes a strong and confident parent to brush aside the temptations to specialize their child and follow the crowd when every 5 minutes another bell, whistle or vibration is going off in their pocket about another 9 year old 6 states away scoring a goal or winning a trophy. Next time you're feeling this way, just tell yourself, "It doesn't matter." Because it doesn't.

4) I'm now in math/economics and another reason we parents are in this predicament is the relative wealth of this country. I know, I don't feel wealthy either, but our parents and our parents parents spent most of their time trying to figure out how to afford food, car payments, rent and diapers. Not $3-4K for soccer club fees. They didn't have enough free time to drive hours to/from a practice. I was lucky to get a ride home from hockey practice from my Dad, who often worked 12 hour shifts for a boss that didn't give 2 shi**s about what his long term employee's kids were doing in the evenings and on weekends. Things are different now. Parents not only attend all games, but often every practice too. A prior poster mentioned that he's teaching lessons to his daughter about hard work through soccer. When reading this, I thought, how do you know when she's working her hardest? Are you attending every practice and watching how she performs in every drill, for every scrimmage, in every game? Many parents do today and that puts a lot of unnecessary pressure on the kids to be performing "her best" all the time. You don't have good days and bad days at work? And if you are watching for that critical evaluation on the soccer pitch, are you also going to the school and sitting in the classroom every day to make sure she's working her hardest in her academics? Of course not, that would be silly, right?

I violated my own post-length rule--apologies--happy to hear others' continued thoughts -- agreeing or disagreeing both welcomed equally.
Definitely spot on. I would add that the relative wealth of our country has also led to a hyper-focus on success/happiness equaling wealth, status and position. It's a race to superficial living. Given the increase in suicide rates (especially among young people) and that 1 in 6 Americans takes a psychiatric drug I'm not sure that's really the path to happiness.

You might enjoy this book if you haven't already read it. Written by a 20+ year high school teacher in Silicon Valley.


Table Of Contents
Trust
Trust Yourself, Trust Your Child
Respect
Your Child Is Not Your Clone
Independence
Don’t Do Anything for Your Children That They Can Do for Themselves
Give Your Child Grit
Collaboration
Don’t Dictate, Collaborate
Children Hear What You Do, Not What You Say
Kindness
Kindness: Model It. It’s Contagious
Teach Your Child to Give a Damn
 

way up

SILVER
So happy that this thread has generated a lot of discussion and provoked thought. After all, our kids' well-being is top priority. I am an educator (20+ years) and I've seen a lot change in that time with parents in the classroom. I also see this on the soccer field (and other sports too). I am by no means a perfect parent, nor have all the answers to parenting, but thought adding a few things I've noticed through the years would be of further help to those interested...

1) Parents now are definitely more involved with their kids and trying to influence their decisions, their experiences and their development. 20 years ago, parents were much more willing to accept the path that their kids were choosing, that teachers were recommending based upon their expertise, or that fate was providing. This happens more in the middle/upper class school districts and likewise at those soccer (and other sport) clubs too. Cops, Firefighters, cooks and other teachers are much more willing to defer....middle management, white-collar corporate types in middle/upper income groups are much more "involved" in controlling their kids childhood. It may sound like stereotyping, but it's true. The Varsity Blues college admission scandal is Exhibit A. 20 years ago I never heard of parents throwing tantrums because Johnny couldn't be in the same classroom as his best friend Tony. Now, it is commonplace. And as soon as a teacher or admin gives into the behavior, it emboldens that parent and causes other parents to copycat. The same happens in the soccer world--playing time, etc. The ironic thing is that the less you allow your kids to make mistakes and figure out their independence now (ie, the more you try to control now), the more they will be hindered in adulthood.

2) Kids are not as knowledgeable today as they were 20+ years ago. In search of their kid being the best at something, parents are forcing their kids to specialize too early, too young, be it soccer, violin, chess, math etc. That may be good for that particular activity right now, but it will become a burden in the classroom and long term in their careers. We are seeing kids not as creative, not as interested in risk-taking, not as good at multitasking. Why? Because Mom/Dad are helping with homework, having the uncomfortable discussions with coaches/teachers, protecting their kids from any experience of failure, and funneling their kids' into a very narrow skill/learning development track. Not to mention spending more time on the soccer field (or pick your sport) than on learning. How many parents reading this spend time kicking the ball around with your son/daughter each week? I bet a lot of you do. And that's good. I do too (though not as much as when my now teenagers were younger). But now, how many of you also spend the same amount of time or more on learning/creative tasks, problem solving, doing math story problems, building robots/rockets with your kids, writing poetry, reading Tolkien? Most parents are not doing any of that, or they just help with their kids' homework--which is a completely different motivation (getting the "A"). Steve Jobs was one of the most creative and multi-talented people because of his wide array of experiences and education. For example, he credits a calligraphy class he took for providing inspiration for Apple's fonts.

3) Social media has caused parent FOMO to skyrocket. Before Facetrash, Insta, Youtube etc. parents only compared their kids to other kids at their school and the occasional kid who was written about in the newspaper or on the local news. Now, youth sport has become big business and bragging about kids on social media has become even bigger business (not to mention the rankings companies). It takes a strong and confident parent to brush aside the temptations to specialize their child and follow the crowd when every 5 minutes another bell, whistle or vibration is going off in their pocket about another 9 year old 6 states away scoring a goal or winning a trophy. Next time you're feeling this way, just tell yourself, "It doesn't matter." Because it doesn't.

4) I'm now in math/economics and another reason we parents are in this predicament is the relative wealth of this country. I know, I don't feel wealthy either, but our parents and our parents parents spent most of their time trying to figure out how to afford food, car payments, rent and diapers. Not $3-4K for soccer club fees. They didn't have enough free time to drive hours to/from a practice. I was lucky to get a ride home from hockey practice from my Dad, who often worked 12 hour shifts for a boss that didn't give 2 shi**s about what his long term employee's kids were doing in the evenings and on weekends. Things are different now. Parents not only attend all games, but often every practice too. A prior poster mentioned that he's teaching lessons to his daughter about hard work through soccer. When reading this, I thought, how do you know when she's working her hardest? Are you attending every practice and watching how she performs in every drill, for every scrimmage, in every game? Many parents do today and that puts a lot of unnecessary pressure on the kids to be performing "her best" all the time. You don't have good days and bad days at work? And if you are watching for that critical evaluation on the soccer pitch, are you also going to the school and sitting in the classroom every day to make sure she's working her hardest in her academics? Of course not, that would be silly, right?

I violated my own post-length rule--apologies--happy to hear others' continued thoughts -- agreeing or disagreeing both welcomed equally.
I think were conflating issues about the youth of today. To keep this simple, I own a business and spend a lot of time doing fun things, practicing soccer, socializing, cooking, problem solving, etc. etc. with my girls. I can't speak for everyone, but there is a lot more competition and struggle to keep up with the Jones's today, so yes, we all probably have more pressure and stress on ourselves and put more of that on our kids. Not everyone has my flexible schedule, but I worked hard to build that and use it to be there for my family.

My opinion is that pressure and stress teaches them how to handle stress and pressure. Mental health and depression are real medical issues and more likely genealogical not from involved parents encouraging and motivating their kids to work hard and perform well. Maybe parents need to be more involved and see the signs?? I don't know, but health care is very expensive. We are taxed to death and like I also mentioned, 59% of American Adults don't even have $1k for an emergency, so many are struggling to even get their medication. Just watched the movie The Joker which kind of hits on what I'm describing.

My grandfathers dealt with world war 2, the depression, and extremely hard life, so the pressure I put on my kids is a joke compared to that. My grandfathers would probably rip me a new one for feeling bad for having expectations and making my kids earn their entry into expensive competitive sports. Now, if my kids did have some mental issues or learning disorders, of course, I would balance my expectations. My wife teaches special education and I hear about how common learning disorders are and every kid is different as well.

I think the approach many subscribe to here will actually make many kids weaker and unable to handle the stress of tomorrow. Mistakes today can make your life disastrous, so there is not much room for error for young people. Of course, kids need to make some mistakes and learn from them, but that's no reason we can't educate and help them along the way. I own a business and have mentored many a young adult and the latest group is the weakest and most underprepared for adulthood I've ever seen and the parents DO NOT PUT PRESSURE OR CHALLENGE THEM! The parents fix everything for them and that is in no way what I'm saying I do for my girls. I have expectations with effort and hard work or the finances stop, period.

And as far as knowing if my kid is trying her hardest. Heck yes, I can tell. I want her to have fun. I want her to love her team. I expect her to appreciate the time I put in driving her everywhere and paying for club soccer though and she earns that with hard work and effort. That's me. If others want to not have expectations and put their time and energy into this regardless of their kid's effort, have at it. Does life, the police, teachers, colleges, coaches, bosses, etc. etc. care about how your day is going with your or your child's behavior or performance.

We don't live in wonderland. This is the real world with real consequences and real tryouts and real admission standards and real job opportunities or lack there of. That's where I live and it's where I am raising my kids to live. Again, just me. Just my opinions as I think of older American Generations compared to this modern snowflake society with excuses and safe spaces where pressure and challenge are too much for some to handle. Of course, there is a balance. Again, just me. Just my opinions as I think of older American Generations compared to this modern snowflake society with excuses and safe spaces where pressure and challenge are too much for some to handle.
 

way up

SILVER
I think were conflating issues about the youth of today. To keep this simple, I own a business and spend a lot of time doing fun things, practicing soccer, socializing, cooking, problem solving, etc. etc. with my girls. I can't speak for everyone, but there is a lot more competition and struggle to keep up with the Jones's today, so yes, we all probably have more pressure and stress on ourselves and put more of that on our kids. Not everyone has my flexible schedule, but I worked hard to build that and use it to be there for my family.

My opinion is that pressure and stress teaches them how to handle stress and pressure. Mental health and depression are real medical issues and more likely genealogical not from involved parents encouraging and motivating their kids to work hard and perform well. Maybe parents need to be more involved and see the signs?? I don't know, but health care is very expensive. We are taxed to death and like I also mentioned, 59% of American Adults don't even have $1k for an emergency, so many are struggling to even get their medication. Just watched the movie The Joker which kind of hits on what I'm describing.

My grandfathers dealt with world war 2, the depression, and extremely hard life, so the pressure I put on my kids is a joke compared to that. My grandfathers would probably rip me a new one for feeling bad for having expectations and making my kids earn their entry into expensive competitive sports. Now, if my kids did have some mental issues or learning disorders, of course, I would balance my expectations. My wife teaches special education and I hear about how common learning disorders are and every kid is different as well.

I think the approach many subscribe to here will actually make many kids weaker and unable to handle the stress of tomorrow. Mistakes today can make your life disastrous, so there is not much room for error for young people. Of course, kids need to make some mistakes and learn from them, but that's no reason we can't educate and help them along the way. I own a business and have mentored many a young adult and the latest group is the weakest and most underprepared for adulthood I've ever seen and the parents DO NOT PUT PRESSURE OR CHALLENGE THEM! The parents fix everything for them and that is in no way what I'm saying I do for my girls. I have expectations with effort and hard work or the finances stop, period.

And as far as knowing if my kid is trying her hardest. Heck yes, I can tell. I want her to have fun. I want her to love her team. I expect her to appreciate the time I put in driving her everywhere and paying for club soccer though and she earns that with hard work and effort. That's me. If others want to not have expectations and put their time and energy into this regardless of their kid's effort, have at it. Does life, the police, teachers, colleges, coaches, bosses, etc. etc. care about how your day is going with your or your child's behavior or performance.

We don't live in wonderland. This is the real world with real consequences and real tryouts and real admission standards and real job opportunities or lack there of. That's where I live and it's where I am raising my kids to live. Again, just me. Just my opinions as I think of older American Generations compared to this modern snowflake society with excuses and safe spaces where pressure and challenge are too much for some to handle. Of course, there is a balance. Again, just me. Just my opinions as I think of older American Generations compared to this modern snowflake society with excuses and safe spaces where pressure and challenge are too much for some to handle.
I would also add I feel those who learn to work hard and look at obstacles in life as challenges and hurdles will out perform others left to figure things out on their own with no expectations and no pressure. I actually envy my girls, because I feel so many young kids now a days are growing up so soft due to soft parenting without expectations and pressure. Those who work hard and handle pressure well will be far more prepared for the challenges of life which can be very difficult. I do enjoy the discussion and find it interesting how different many of us think. I'm very thankful that I was raised how I was!
 

way up

SILVER
I would also add I feel those who learn to work hard and look at obstacles in life as challenges and hurdles will out perform others left to figure things out on their own with no expectations and no pressure. I actually envy my girls, because I feel so many young kids now a days are growing up so soft due to soft parenting without expectations and pressure. Those who work hard and handle pressure well will be far more prepared for the challenges of life which can be very difficult. I do enjoy the discussion and find it interesting how different many of us think. I'm very thankful that I was raised how I was!
Honestly though, the major problem for the youth today is lack of 2 parent households. My wife is absolutely amazing and I'm sure others on here can relate. Having a child is never a mistake, EVER! They are always a gift that you better get off of your a$$ and take care of in life, but you have to find good life partners. Children need 2 parents that love each other imo. When they get that, anything is possible. Just saying it's an advantage. Saddens me to see so many not making it through the marathon, because this is what it is all about. Also, the pressure I put on my kids is pretty minor. I reward my kids to work hard, so not so much pressure. They just have to make the effort to make me break out the dollar bill. For my older honors class straight A student, same thing. They pick their path. I could write a book about it, but it FRIGGEN COMMON SENSE! Be there, help them, reward them, talk to them. BE A DAMN PARENT!
 
Each and every one of you including me exhibits this behavior! Look this is a website dedicated to parents posting about youth soccer. You can’t be on this website and not be overly involved per what this one person wrote in a Psychology mag. I bet the person who wrote it has kids that dance or play an instrument and they are overly involved in that themselves. But they don’t like sports. I say enjoy every minute of your kids accomplishments and journey since they grow up fast.
 
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