As a parent, you (hopefully) already know that the things that you say and do can have a huge impact on your children, and that impact can be positive or negative. This truth extends to the hockey world, and whether you encourage your children or criticize them can make all the difference in terms of how happy they are, how well they perform in the sport, and their overall mental health and well-being.
The bad thing is that parents who criticize their kids and cause them damage rarely realize that they are doing it. In fact, more often than not, these cold, damaging parents actually think that by pointing out things their kids could do better, they are helping them and spurring them on to be better and perform better. In truth, though, criticism is the job of a coach, and, even then, it should be delivered in an encouraging and supportive manner. The job of parents is simply to be proud of their young athletes, to celebrate their accomplishments, and to help them get over any mistakes or failures that they may encounter along the way.
We all want our children to do well, and sometimes that “want” comes out and manifests itself in a negative way. As such, take a minute right now to assess yourself and the things you say to your child. If you can think of anything that isn’t loving or supportive, banish that kind of talk from your vocabulary.
And, even better yet, before you speak or say anything after a child experiences a failure, take a minute to collect yourself and to make sure that whatever it is you are saying is positive, kind, and helpful. This can make all the difference not only in your child’s happiness and well-being but also in your long-term relationship together, so always make the effort to be positive and loving, no matter what!