I hear a lot of stories in my office that typically leave me shaking my head in disbelief. One such story took place this morning while two guys were discussing why their daughters decided to quit playing sports.
Both of them expressed that their children were demoted from starting positions on their respective volleyball teams to second string, and since these little high-school darlings thought they were so much better than the coaches opinions, neither of them wanted to play sports anymore…
so they both quit.
What left me shaking my head wasn’t that they quit, it was when I heard these two fathers express their views about their daughters.
For some reason the “two most pathetic dad’s in the world” condoned the actions of their daughters and praised them for standing up for their right to play.
What’s more, and what I find ironic is that the two pathetic dad’s are both in management positions where they have to make decisions about their subordinates. Both having the responsibility to manage and hire employees and assign workloads based on the character, strengths and weaknesses of each employee.
They also have to figure out who works best in what position so the “team” can function without a lot of discord. Which is similar to what a head coach does. . . am I right?
Having played sports in my younger days, I know what it’s like to think you’re much better at something than you really are. I also understand what it’s like to go from first string to sitting the bench waiting for the coach to call on you while you have to watch someone else struggle at your position. Consequently, through every circumstance — good or bad — the greatest lesson I learned during that time was how to be a part of a “team” no matter your role or status.
And this would have been an awesome teachable moment for these two dad’s to empress a few life lessons upon their young, extremely self-confident, albeit impressionable, daughters.
A few of those lessons could have been:
- that no matter where you go, there are always going to be people in this world who are considered to be prettier, stronger, more athletic, more intelligent, more astute, more confident than you. But it doesn’t mean you should quit being you.
- that there are times when you just have to suck it up and ride the bench and patiently wait your turn.
- that authority isn’t always correct in their decisions, but you have to realize you don’t make the decisions and though you disagree, sometimes you just have to roll with the punches and while doing so, encourage others ahead of you to perform well.
- that others are always watching you, so make sure you have good character when you react to situations.
- that humility is better to be had than a contentious spirit.
- that leading isn’t always about being in front. The best leaders are the ones working the hardest and don’t care about the accolades but would rather encourage others around them to do their best and keep trying.
- that hard work will eventually pay off, but quitters never achieve any rewards.
- furthermore, will you pout and throw a tantrum when you don’t get your way, or will you suck it up and realize that you need to work harder to achieve the status or goal that you set for yourself?
Just like these two dad’s in my office, parents these days fail to teach their kids that being in front isn’t what matters. What matters is character and how you react to situations that aren’t to your liking.
It’s pathetic when parents miss an opportunity to teach their children how to handle the beanballs that are thrown at them because as those children proceed through life, they will struggle and suffer for not learning how to work through the problems. Many of them will quit and think that’s the best way to handle uncomfortable situations, but that will only lead to a lifetime of regret.
Typically I end my posts with a pathetic statement, but today I want to encourage you who are parents to teach your children during times of discouragement in their lives. Help them to know that quitting isn’t always the best option. That maybe, just maybe!, their role is to lead by example. With humility and good character. Encouraging those around them to always perform at their best.
I encourage you to not be a pathetic parent.