Categories: International Women's Day, Kids, Motivation, Training
It’s International Women’s Day–a celebration of women and their political, economic and social achievements. Sounds good right? This post is timely because it’s about empowering our kids, especially girls, and an issue that’s been in my craw lately. Recently I’ve been quite active on the figure skating scene, in a coaching/mentoring capacity, which I love.
It’s competition season and the kids are working diligently. In some, the competitive fire burns so brightly, they are driven to practice multiple times daily. Others maintain their usual once-a-week lesson, maybe even skipping some of those. Everyone’s goals are different. No surprise there.
Nothing makes my heart swell more than watching kids realize the correlation between hard work, commitment and realizing their dreams.
Nothing makes my heart ache more than watching well-intentioned parents unwittingly rob the joy out of the experience. How do they do this? By comparing their kids to others.
One parent wanted an eleventh hour coaching change “because so and so is landing x jump and my daughter is not.”
Her daughter skates one hour a week. The person she compared her daughter to skates exponentially more. I’m not even going to get into the issues of natural ability, passion, motivation, resources, etc. They are unique to each individual.
Would this particular skater improve with more practice? Without a doubt.
Does she need an additional coach? Highly unlikely.
It’s human nature to look at others and compare/contrast ourselves. It gets dicey when this practice either diminishes or elevates our self-image. It becomes dangerous when we extend this behavior to our kids.
How many times have we seen runners satisfied with their performance until they realize others ran faster? Someone proud of hitting a weight loss milestone until they learn someone else lost more? We know there will always be someone faster, slimmer, prettier, with a bigger house, etc. What others do is irrelevant to our personal situation. So why should it impact the way we feel about ourselves or our kids?
All parents want the best for their kids. However, comparing them to others on a very unlevel playing field is not the way to get it. It would be far more constructive if this mom compared where her daughter is now to where she was 6 months, one year and two years ago. Navigating those tween/teen years is hard enough. Lets celebrate our perfectly imperfect selves and pass that wisdom on to our children.