Here are a few more ways to say “I love you” to your child.
1. Always encourage your child to have fun!
2. Be the parent, not the coach, especially on the way to and from the game.
3. Show your child love no matter how they perform.
4. Keep winning in perspective; everyone wants to win, but don’t lose character in the process.
5. Don’t fall into common youth sports traps; spending a fortune and only seeking elite.
6. Focus on the end game; who do you want your child to be after they are done playing sports?
7. Remember that sometimes all your child needs is a hug or pat on the back, without the barrage of words.
8. Give your child the space they need after practice, games or when they are frustrated.
9. Filter your words. Learn the skillful art of biting your tongue.
10. Let your child learn how to push themselves.
11. Be sure that you and your child have a life outside of sports.
12. Don’t distract your child from the sidelines or bleachers, telling them how to play.
13. Acknowledge your child’s strengths and don’t compare them to other players.
14. Let your child develop their own path, not force them to follow yours.
15. Look for ways to help the team and encourage the coach.
16. Remember that most of the stuff you want to worry about today won’t matter in a few years, or even next season.
17. Accept responsibility for your own negative emotions; don’t blame the coach, official or players.
18. Help your child find little victories in each game or practice.
19. Listen to their frustrations without feeling like you always have to fix everything.
Try a few of these, maybe one a day. The strongest way to say “I love you” to your child is by your actions.
Janis Meredith is a family life coach who wants to help all parents raise champions. You can find out more at rcfamilies.com.