What is your parenting style: Cheerleader or Coach?
In our younger, leaner years, my husband Secret Agent Man was an athlete. I was a dancer. So how did we end up with uncoordinated kids?
My twin boys can’t run. You know the kids that shuffle up and down the soccer field with their feet never fully coming off the ground? They would be mine.
Mini Me, my daughter, loves to dance. She has been in a local cheerleading program for three years. She always ends up getting “The Spirit Award” as opposed to something like “Best Jumps.”
Mini Me, like her mother, is high energy. Her coach is very encouraging and says that being energetic is what cheerleading is all about. But, unlike me, a former “All-American Pom-pom Girl” and former college ballroom dance champion, she forgoes technique in favor of an Elaine Benes-type dance style.
Whenever I have tried to “coach” my kids, I am met with resistance. Admittedly, it could be my approach.
I lost my voice from yelling coaching from the sidelines at my boy’s first soccer game. I didn’t anticipate my reaction to seeing the twins standing idly by with their arms inside their jerseys while six other players ran past them.
Spending an afternoon mute gave me a lot of time for introspection. I decided that I’d better bring a magazine to every game and try not to watch. No matter what the outcome, they would get a pat on the back and ice cream for a game well finished.
Mini Me does not appreciate my coaching, either. Next year she has the opportunity to try out for the performance team, but unless she can reign in some of her energy and improve her skills, her cheerleading career could be over at the ripe old age of seven. Whenever I try to show her proper technique she says,
“Mom, can’t you just let me do it my way?”
So, how do you do it? How do you balance being your kid’s “cheerleader” with “coaching” them through life?