We’ve all seen it - the parent standing on the sidelines criticizing the decisions made by coaches and officials, yelling at their own child for making a mistake, hurling rude remarks at the opposing team, or always placing blame. In some cases, these parents have even gotten into brawls.
Baseball is in full swing! Two and three year olds are trying out their first little sluggers classes. Four and five year olds are breaking in their new gloves, chasing grounders, and hitting off a tee. Older kids are making new friends, catching pop flies, and learning to pitch in Little League. Everybody seems to be having a ball. Well… maybe not everybody.
Parents often ask the following questions: Is enrolling my child in extracurricular activities in addition to school or camp a good thing? How many activities are considered too many? What do I do if my child doesn’t like the activity, even though I know it is good for them? How do I choose the best activity for my child when there are many different activities available?
With many young athletes crossing my path, it’s not unusual to hear comments from them like: “They push me too much” or, “They’re always on my case about what I’m doing at practice.” Not surprisingly, many young athletes feel pressured and pushed by their parents. In contrast, many parents believe in ‘the push.’ “If I didn’t push my daughter to practice, she wouldn’t be as good as she is. I have to get after her sometimes.” Or, parents agonize over what is the right amount to push: “How can I ever know if I am doing damage or not? I want to be there and be supportive, but sometimes she looks at me like I have hurt her feelings.”
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