30 years coaching experience/Worked Camps/Clinics on 5 Continents

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

It's Our Fault; Parents That Is

As parents in the 21st century, have we become enablers of our children?

I think this is something that has gone on for a long time because I can remember instances when I was younger in the early 1980s and maybe even earlier, but has it gotten worse?

We see and read about the "snowflake" generation and wonder where our country is headed, but shouldn't we look backwards? Whose fault is it that we are witnessing this behavior?

As a coach/teacher I have seen many situations of enabling. I've seen many situations that I have been attacked for pointing out the situation by a parent because they believe (or refuse to see) that their child may not be perfect and I ended up being right in the future. I have yet to receive an apology from some of these parents, but it is what it is.

Before I was a parent, I could not understand where these people were coming from, now with children, I do understand it.

We don't want our children to endure hardships.

Yet, isn't that the way we've all learned? Isn't it actually the best way to learn?

I get it though.

I have watched as my child has been disciplined by coaches, treated in ways that I think unfairly compared to the other players and I go into defensive mode.

It is then that I try to remember all of the experiences I have seen or been involved in as a coach/parent or my wife sets me straight.

It is good for my son and daughter to endure "hardships" (I mean they aren't starving, homeless, or unclothed, or unloved) when they are younger because they will face them as adults. More serious than anything they will see as children. And we are not talking about the kind of hardships that will mentally challenge them forever and, really, who cares if it does? It is isn't any type of abuse.

And that's why we sit where we do today with an ever growing group of spoiled children/young adults.

They can't handle someone who disagrees with them so they shut down, or worse yet, attempt to shut down the person they disagree with. If disagreement cannot be stopped, we give law students coloring books, safe spaces and excuses for their behavior which enables it further.

I'm not just pointing this out about society today in general, I, specifically, have caught myself doing it to my children and I worry I am not preparing them for real life.

How tough will they be?

Will they cower because someone disagrees with them?

Will they fight for what they believe in?

Or will I have spoiled them so much that they will march in the streets for the perceived lack of rights (we can always do better) in a country that is the 1% when dealing with freedoms and monetary success?

I hope not.

And I will continue to examine my actions and what I shelter them from...

But it ain't easy; not by a long shot.