Updated: Jun 14, 2019
Today's post is a little longer than normal. For the first time, my writing continued onto the 2nd page of my notebook. And, while I've strayed from my initial inspiration, this one is another conversation. As this has evolved, I have decided that I am not going to force myself to use a conversation as my motivation (if you've been following along, you might have figured that out by now).
*The name has been changed to protect the innocent (has this joke run its course yet? You can comment and tell me, I won't be offended)
The father of one of my regulars called to tell me his son was sick 5 minutes before his lesson was supposed to start yesterday. He proceeded to tell me that he was coming to pay me anyway, something he did not have to do. And something I would not have asked him to do, but something I, obviously, appreciated (rent costs nearly 3k a month and Mia just got braces...needless to say, we need the money since I have yet to figure out how to cultivate a money tree.
George and I stood outside of the batting cages and talked for about 45 minutes. It was very refreshing to talk with a parent who is engaged with, but not living vicariously through, his sons athletic experience. We discussed the last book I read, The Matheny Manifesto, written by former major league catcher and manager, Mike Matheny.
By the way, if you ever have a chance to hear Matheny speak, do it. I was privelaged (wow, i really butchered that one, privileged) enough to be in the audience during his presentation at the ABCA (American Baseball Coaches Association) national convention in Dallas this past January. His message was great; his delivery was spectacular. Sorry, I got distracted.
In his book, Matheny discusses, in depth, the role of parents in the athletic experiences of their children, and George is the type of parent that Matheny would praise if they were acquainted.
Far too often, parents try to pave the way by attempting to solve all of their problems. They smooth out all of the rough patches and leave their children ill-equipped to succeed in real life. The role of parents is to educate and prepare their children so that when adversity strikes and life throws up roadblocks, they have the tools to successfully navigate the storm.
Now there is a paragraph rich with metaphors for you!
Stop stunting the growth of your children. By protecting them from failure and shielding them from adversity, you aren't allowing them to learn valuable life lessons and problem solving skills that will benefit them as they enter adulthood and eventually marriage and parenthood (if they decide to go that route). It might make the both of you feel better at the time, but when they are 37 and still living in your basement, it will be nobody's fault but your own.
Let them fail. Let them defeat their own adversity. Let them learn. Let them grow.
Let them surprise you with their resilience, their fortitude, and their successes.
Point them in the right direction. Give them the support they need to take ownership over their own lives, in their own ways.
While they might not like you for it in the moment, they will thank you for it in the long run. So will your grand-kids.