7 reasons to let your child fight his own battles

By Janis Meredith | Posted 10/12/2015

When parents let their children fight their own battles in youth sports, they grow stronger and learn life lessons.

While watching your child learn, here’s what you as a parent can also be learning:

  • Children are stronger than you think. It’s easy to swoop in and rescue rather watch your child fight through things, but, honestly, he is more resilient and inventive than you realize. Give him a chance to grow his muscles.
  • Interference often causes more harm than good. Before you roll up your sleeves and step into the fight, ask yourself this: Is my interference really going to make things better?
  • Parenting doesn’t equal controlling. You can’t control every situation your child faces. It’s frustrating because you want everything to turn out all right, but for the sake of your sanity and the health of your child, you must give up the need to control and fix every situation.
  • Your child doesn’t have to be you. Whether consciously or not, you may be trying to manipulate your child’s sports career because you want your child to be as good as or better than you were. Let your child be his own person.
  • Your child’s athleticism should not define you. Don’t let your self-importance rest on the fact that your child is the star of the team or that your kid is known for being a super jock.
  • This too shall pass. Life is lived in seasons, and if your child is struggling right now, believe me when I tell you that this season does end. Honest.
  • Your kids need your love more than your coaching. Even if you played all your life and know the game inside and out – even if you were pro or Division I college player – your child needs your love, support and belief in him more than he needs your expertise.

Janis B. Meredith, sports mom and coach's wife, writes a sports parenting blog called JBM Thinks. She authored the Sports Parenting Survival Guide Series and has a podcasting series for sports parents. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.