“‘I love watching you play.’
This is the only thing a child wants to hear from a parent after a game.
Parents. Stop the madness. The lectures. The play-by-plays. The analysis. The should’ve, could’ve…
Look around and you will see on every court, field, ball park…
All the talk.
Think about it.
As an adult, how would you feel if you came out of a huge presentation at work and had someone immediately going over every sentence? How would it feel for someone to criticize your every word or move, in your ear…going on and on???
What would happen, instead, if after a game we gave kids room to breath; if we let them marinate in knowing we simply enjoyed watching them play; rather than giving them a lecture, what would happen if we instead gave them permission to take it all in and have fun; what if we simply praised them for their effort?
Even when…they didn’t score. Even when…they didn’t win. Even if they turned over the ball, flubbed up, or missed the catch.
What if we just listened? Quietly.
Most likely, the child would bring the game up later—they might want to talk about what went well or where they have room to improve.
Maybe they wouldn’t want to discuss it at all.
But, what our children really need to know is that their worth is not measured by wins and losses or missed balls or baskets. And if we want them to have a love of the game… they need to discover the intrinsic joy.
More importantly, if we want a relationship with them, our children need to know we have their backs and that we aren’t their critics.
‘I love watching you play.’
If we just tell our kids, ‘I love watching you play,’ everything changes for the better.
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Valli Gideons of My Battle Call, and originally appeared here. You can follow her journey on Facebook and Instagram. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.
Read more from Valli:
‘What grade is your son in?,’ a mom at the gym asked. ‘My daughter is in 4th,’ I replied.
‘The accountant pulled up our info and swiveled it towards us. There it was. In bold print. Under my husband’s name and title. Mine read: HOMEMAKER.’
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