What We Should Say When Our Kids Perform
The most liberating words parents can speak to their student-athletes are quite simple. Based on psychological research, the three healthiest statements moms and dads can make as they perform are:
Before the Competition: After the competition:
- Have fun. 1. Did you have fun?
- Play hard. 2. I’m proud of you.
- I love you. 3. I love you.
Six Simple Words…
For years, I wondered what the student-athlete would say about this issue. After decades of work with athletes, Bruce E. Brown and Rob Miller found out. They suggest six simple words parents can express that produce the most positive results in their performing children. After interacting with students, they report:
College athletes were asked what their parents said that made them feel great, that amplified their joy during and after a ballgame. Their overwhelming response:
“I love to watch you play.”
That’s it. Those six words. How interesting. How liberating to the parent. How empowering to the student-athlete. No pressure. No correction. No judgment. (That’s the coach’s job). Just pure love of their child using their gift in competition.
When I learned this, I reflected on the years my own kids competed in sports, recitals, theatrical plays, and practices. Far too often, I wanted to play a role that added more stress to their life. Instead, I now realize—I just need to love them. And to love watching them play.
From a parent’s view—this is the best way to cultivate an emotionally healthy kid.
- See more at: http://growingleaders.com/blog/what-parents-should-say-as-their-kids-perform/#sthash.zzZXd0Lf.dpuf