One of the most beautiful and immensely profound things about being a parent is that, for many years, you in a position where you have the strongest influence in your child’s life. This not only means that you are there to teach and guide them, but you also are to serve as their biggest cheerleader as well.
So, when they are involved in extracurricular activities such as sporting events, while you may assume that it’s a good idea to attend at least a few of them, a part of you may wonder just how important it is to go to every single one. That’s a fair concern. In response, we have a few things for you to consider that will hopefully help you to come to the best personal parenting resolve.
Kids need you. Always. Who hasn’t seen a movie where there is an adult recalling an account of their father or mother not being at their little league games while growing up? Although you as the adult know that there are errands to run and dinner to cook, all your child knows is that when they look up into the stands, they need their parents sitting (or standing) in them. When you’re not, it tends to stay with them for years to come (and usually not in the most positive way).
Kids remember the “don’ts” more than the “do’s”. The interesting thing about the scenario that we just presented is that oftentimes in response to the kids saying, “You weren’t there for me at my games”, the parents will sometimes say, “What are you talking about? I did come to some of your games.” The point is this: It’s kind of like a birthday or Christmas present in the sense that children don’t always remember what you got them last year, only if you didn’t get them what they wanted this year. Along these same lines, for all of the games that you did attend, there’s a good chance that they are only going to remember the ones that you didn’t. If you ask any parenting expert, one thing that they will tell you is that during a child’s developmental years, consistency is vitally important. To a child, the last game is not nearly as relevant as the present one. So, when it comes to instilling their confidence level in you, it’s best to be a constant presence.
Kids appreciate explanations. Children are a lot smarter (and observant) than we tend to give them credit for. The reality is that while we may want to be at every game, sometimes “life happens” and it prevents that from happening. It is best to try and make every one of them, but if you can’t, don’t simply call your child with a couple motivational sports quotes right before they suit up. Explain why you can’t make it, offer up an apology and find a way to make it up to them. They will want you there more, but if they feel like you really do care about missing it, it can help to soften the blow and make them feel like some part of you really is still present—even if it’s just in spirit.