Today’s parents are busy people. This is especially true for “hockey parents,” who often have a lot of responsibility between shuttling their kids from one practice to the next and remembering when they’re on “snack duty” for the team.
As such, many parents are satisfied with simply asking their children a simple, “How was practice?” They get a “fine” answer and then move on, but is this really enough?
Children thrive on feedback, and they especially thrive on it from the people that they love the most- their parents. For this reason, it is important to ask for more from your kids and to give them more in return.
Children thrive on feedback from their parents, especially if and when it is delivered in the right way.
So, how can you interact positively and provide positive feedback for the young hockey player in your life? While there’s no “magic formula,” there are some tips that, if followed, can prove helpful.
Ask About Positives and Negatives
To start off with, instead of simply asking, “How was practice?” or “How was the game?” - questions that typically merit a one-word answer- ask your child to share one positive and one negative thing from his or her experience that day.
You’ll be surprised at how much you can learn from just this one simple question. For example, you can learn what your child is struggling with, which gives you opportunities to encourage him or her. You can also learn what your child is feeling positive above, which gives you opportunities for praise and congratulations, showing your child how supportive you are.
Asking about “positives” and “negatives” may be simple, but it’s an easy way to gain insight into how your child is feeling and to respond appropriately.
Ask About Alternatives
Something else that can be effective is to ask your child about something that he or she wishes had been done differently that day.
This is a great way to find out about mistakes your child may have made, issues with the coach, problems with other teammates, and more.
This question is so broad and open-ended that the answer your child gives is sure to encourage real conversation, which you can then use to support, help, and encourage your young athlete
While these simple tips can be highly effective at dealing with your hockey player, the main thing is to really listen and to ask real questions. When you do this, it is easy to provide the kind of useful feedback that your child needs and to help him or her get the most possible advantages out of the youth hockey experience as a whole.