I’m in the middle of soccer, baseball, softball, and Ninja Warrior season. So, both as a dad and as a coach – I’m involved! I have a career as a sports-based chiropractor but spend a significant amount of my time and energy on human performance. I love helping adults and kids become faster, stronger, and more energetic. It is a passion of mine, and after 4 or 5 generations of coaching, I feel like coaches and teaching is in my genes – especially for the age of my kids and their sports teams.
Parents often say, “It’s nice to have you coach because we can tell our kids what to do, but they won’t listen.”
That’s true. It’s difficult to be an expert to your own kids.
Watch my teams. 10 kids are paying attention, fired up, and ready to work, and my two girls are doing cartwheels 20 feet away. I’m no expert on them. I’m the dad – not the expert. Barely the coach.
The other kids might think I invented the sport and what I say is GOLD –
but let’s get real….I’m just DAD to my kids.
This may happen to you as well. Especially the young parents that have their oldest in sports for the first time,
“Why won’t she listen to me??!! I played college ball, for crying out loud!”
Don’t be discouraged. I have figured it out, and I can help you. I use my friends (coaches) as my kids’ experts. I used to have an issue with this, but I’ve seen the light and learned from my mistakes.
Look, I’ve done dozens of Tough Mudders and obstacle courses, I’ve taught courses on how to train for these events, hell, I built the stuff in our backyard they play on, but still – NO advice from Dad, please.
Guys, it’s no big deal. Stop worrying and see it from the kid’s perspective, and you’ll see why – for millennia, parents have RARELY been the experts. Even the best coaches in the world use outside help.
Little known fact – little Vito Columbus, Chris’ kid, learned to sail from one of his friends. Not his dad. It was pretty much peer pressure alone that made him, although lesser known – equal in longevity, sailing career profitable and secure.
They’ve seen you in your underwear.
That pretty much sums it up. How can you be an expert when the kids know you like that?
They’ve seen you in the shower,
swearing while tripping on Legos,
in the morning before the coffee has kicked in,
cursing after you stubbed your toe,
Irrate over some little insignificant thing like clothes on the floor,
swearing again about another item not picked up that you stepped on
– whining, begging for them to “Just. Go. To. Bed…Please.”
Basically, everything that entails being a parent.
We are intimately tied to our kids, and this is a GOOD thing, but it does lend itself to familiarity and comfort– both traits that keep you from being the end–all–be–all expert of the universe.
And let’s get real, the actual job of parents is in the comfort and familiarity department. That’s social development homey.
The real stuff.
Confidence and Security.
That’s OUR job #1 and something to be proud of.
Our kid hitting the slider can take a back seat for a while.
Have you ever noticed how your kids get when they see their teacher at the grocery? Kind of goofy and “straighter.?”
That’s because teachers haven’t been considered real people with real lives. “Wait? They don’t just live at the school and think of nothing but furthering the human race through the education of my classmates?” Teachers are experts.
Use this information. Be OK with it.
You still are the person they trust and love the most, and they will always come back to you. Be the one that supports what the coach says and helps reiterate the lessons they need. If you really need to drive home a lesson, just ask the coaches to bring up something you want to instill.
Your kids’ universe is different than yours. Their perspective is different than yours, and the same information coming in different ways helps reinforce the lessons they need for sports, life, love, family, and development.
These little guys and girls are observant.
When they see others listening to your advice and ideas, they’ll eventually get the point and understand that you know whatever it is you’re yammering on about over there. No matter how they act – you’re still mom and dad. The smartest, strongest, kindest, and most special people in the whole world. Even in your underwear.
Chad Peters is the author of “Parenting from Out Of Bounds” a book for parents coming out soon.
Follow along his wild family adventures @ The Texas Zoo Crew (insta) and Texas Zoo Crew (fb)