Posted by: everynation | March 21, 2011

Attendance Does not Equal Good Parenting

By Ross Middleton

This will be a little controversial, but if you know me, I don’t necessarily mind that.

Many parents, let me rephrase that, thousands of parents go to their kids football, baseball, soccer, etc. games all the time, every day. It seems like on countless SportsCenter specials I’ve seen an interview with the parent of a kid talking about how they “never missed a game.” Now while this is commendable, and I by no means am trying to rain on anyone’s parade, and in most cases in America, we need more parental involvement, not less, I want to offer a slightly different perspective to some who are trying their best to parent their kids.

I was blessed to have two parents who are still married today, attend as far as I can remember, most every activity that I did. Sports, band (I don’t want to hear any ugly band nerd comments:), spelling bees (same goes for this one), field days, concerts and what not. They drove me all over the place and all over our little town.Honestly, I don’t remember if they went to everything I did, but I know that they made it a priority to go to most of it.

Here’s what I’m getting at. I think that we as parents need to go to our kids soccer games and concerts and all that fun stuff. We should not miss those moments. Our kids want to be supported, they need to know that we accept them regardless of how they perform and they need to know that they are a priority in our lives.

But here is where I see the danger. Sometimes I feel like parents wear the “I’ve never missed a game in my entire life badge” like it validates them for being a good parent. Unfortunately, parenting is a lot more than just attending things. I want to suggest that sometimes, if we actually go to every single event that our kid does, it could actually be a harm to him or her.

I think its important that I as a parent raise my kids to realize that the world doesn’t revolve around them. Sometimes, my job may get in the way, I may have to be out of town, there may be a moment that something literally has to be done right then and I won’t be able to attend a certain event. I think that in small doses this is healthy for our kids. They need to know that all of the planet does not stop to watch them kick a ball back and forth.

I am by no means using this to abdicate my role as a parent but to challenge all of us as parents to really check our motives. We need to find the balance of raising great kids, being good parents and being excellent in what we do.

So in conclusion, should our kids be a priority? Absolutely! Should we use them as an excuse to not be excellent in what we do? I don’t think we should. Simply attending every event that our kids participate in at the detriment of other priorities in our lives is unhealthy for us and them.God has given us multiple stewardships in our life and we have to figure out how to steward them all.

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