My amazing 5-year-old boy is playing his first year of soccer. He’s a little timid and shy about attacking, getting into the fray of the bodies surrounding the ball.
There I am as a father, standing on the sidelines, barking out instructions like he’s playing in the Super Bowl or something. Ugh! What’s wrong with me sometimes?
I GET SO FRUSTRATED AT MYSELF FOR OVER-PARENTING.
It’s halftime and I’m giving him all these ridiculous instructions. He doesn’t have a clue as to what I’m saying. The kid is five and I’m ruining all the fun.
Finally, in the 4th quarter I decided to do something smart – SHUT MY MOUTH. My boy steals the ball, dribbles all the way to the goal, shoots and…misses a wide-open goal. It didn’t matter, he already overcame his fear of taking the ball from his opponent ON HIS OWN.
Many of us love our kids so much that we tend to over-parent. I know I do. However, over-parenting can often lead too stifling imagination in children.
My son already knew what he needed me to do, he just needed me to get out of the way.
But man, it’s so hard not to want to help your children. However, many times they brilliantly have already figured out the solution. Kids just need us to love them unconditionally and let them navigate their own lives.
We live in a world where parents are constantly looking for “The Edge” in school, arts, sports, and life. The fact is, kids come into their own when they are ready. Some are late bloomers, some just need time to figure things out.
Parents, enjoy your children without panicking over their future. Challenge them? Of course, but in that process allow their uniqueness and sense of discovery to come out without your help.
They just might surprise you.