By David Tepera, July 8, 2020
I’ve told this story many times, but it’s a must repeat for today’s lesson. Yes, I said “lesson” because for some reason, we have a growing society of pampered youth without responsibility.
Of course, this isn’t all parents, but there are those who babied their kids way too long. Yes, we all want life to be better and easier for our kids than it was for us, but you’ve lost a valuable lesson.
When my adult children were in elementary school, I volunteered in multiple sports for many years, including soccer. Before every season started, I sat all parents down to explain the rules.
Just know, I never cared about winning at that age. I played every kid equal time, made practices challenging, but fun because I wanted everyone to have a positive experience, including parents.
Now, what’s the lesson I explained to the parents?
“Your kid is going to fall down during games. It’s part of the experience. They are going to look at you to come to their rescue and baby them, but I’m going to shout at them to get back up and pursue the game.”
Listen, there’s a difference between getting hurt and being injured. OK, you got your feelings hurt, and you’re embarrassed because you got played. Well guess what? That’s life.
We need to teach our kids to problem solve, and realize it’s up to them for the final outcome. You can lay there and expect people to come to your rescue, or you can take matters in your own hands and learn from the experience.
I have an abundance of plaques, medals and awards surrounding my home office walls, but I have more failures listed in my head and scars on my body. It’s those failures that helped create the displayed victories. I guarantee, the kids or I don’t possess any participation trophies.
That’s today’s problem, the growing youth expect something for nothing. It’s up to us elders to teach the real world, and that’s why my kids played sports their entire youth. If you want to make it to the top, you have to outwork your competition. Otherwise, you’re going to sit on the bench the rest of your life. Not in the Tepera house.
Wherever you are at this exact moment is because of all the failures and victories you’ve experienced. Learn from those failures and keep pushing forward because you only got hurt, not injured.