Friday, February 25, 2011
I have a goal in life.  Well, I have many goals in life, but I only want to talk about one of them tonight.  The goal is simple.  I never want to live vicariously through my children's athletics (or dance, beauty pagents, singing, acting, or whatever else they may choose to love).

Here's the thing.  Sports are for the athletes, not the parents.  Win or lose, good or bad, your kid is the athlete, not you.  You may have been a really excellent high school cricket player.  But you aren't any more.  So get over it. 

I love watching sports, playing sports, and I love competition.

But I can't stand the parents who act like their kids success in sports is 1) tremendously important to their and everyones futures, and 2) part of their identity.  I understand cheering and wanting your child to do well.  But in the end, it's not about you.  It's just not.

Today I ran into a situation with one of these parents.  A mom was so invested in her child's athletic career that she payed no attention to the injury that meant he couldn't compete any more, and instead quite literally ranted about his poor performance and how she had put 6 years into this and he performed horribly.  The result?   Her son left in tears, her daughter and husband followed him (it was clear that this was not new behavior for her), and she stayed behind to tell us (the medical staff, who clearly cared...) how he's just not competed well, and it was embarassing, and she wasn't normally a b**ch.  Inside my head I said, "I bet you are"... but in reality I just pursed my lips and stared at her until she left. 

I can understand a kid getting mad when they lose.  They've worked hard, winning is more fun than losing, and it's frustrating to not do your best.

I can understand coaches getting upset when they lose.  It's their job to win.  You feel like a failure when you don't do your job.  And it's especially frustrating when you know your athletes didn't perform their best, even if they tried really really hard.

But parents?  It's not about you.  Win or lose, you shouldn't get to react like a toddler throwing a tantrum.  Give your kid a hug.  Tell them you love them.  Let them be upset if they need to.  And stop for ice cream on the way home.

Don't act like this:\
All it does is make your kid unhappy, make people think you're ridiculous, and give you high blood pressure.

No kid (particularly one with a record of 32-1) should leave a room crying because his mom said he didn't deserve to compete because he was so bad.

It's not about you.


About Me

I am a Family Medicine intern at a community hospital in Indiana, navigating the new world of being a physician. I am privileged to work in a field I love, where every day is a new and unpredictable challenge.
I am not only a doctor, but also a cyclist, runner, DIYer in the making, lover of the outdoors, traveler, and human.
Human, MD is a glimpse into the world of a young doctor who is just trying to stay true to herself through the grueling whirlwind of residency.


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