When a child’s sporting season has not turned out as they hoped, or they are experiencing melancholy about no longer enjoying the same camaraderie with their buddies, there are several ways to help them cope with the experience. Read on to learn more.
1. Keep Your Feelings To Yourself
If your child is having a hard time with a tough ending to a season, the worst thing you can do is express your own disappointment. While you may feel as if you are empathizing with your child, this approach will typically cause them to feel even worse. A parent should be doing everything in their power to lift the burden, not add extra emotional weight.
2. Don’t Control Their Emotions
We hate to see our children feeling bad and our natural instinct is to soothe them when they are sad. However, there is no need to placate them or try to “fix” their ill feelings. Give them time to decompress and process their emotions on their own while still making yourself available if they need to talk.
3. Help Them See The Big Picture
Once the child is ready to talk, you can provide them with necessary big picture perspective. Kids don’t realize there is a much bigger world out there and can struggle to put their immediate feelings into perspective. If they are struggling to find the silver lining, it is your job to help them locate it.
4. Ask The Right Questions
There are always lessons to be learned after a long season and children need to be asked the right questions sometimes to identify them. Ask your children about the areas where their performance was good and ask them about the areas where they felt that their performance was lacking.
5. Provide Guidance
At the end of a season, one of the best ways for a child to cope is to set new goals for the next one. This is an area where parents can provide crucial guidance. If your child is setting goals that are too grandiose, you can help bring them back to earth. Conversely, you can give your child the boost they need if they are selling themselves short.
6. Creating a Plan
After questions have been asked and goals have been set, it is time for the child to create a feasible plan of action. Sit down with their coaches and develop a plan for the off season that fits the needs of the team and the child.
7. Give Them Unquestioned Support
No matter how the season ended, whether it was a title campaign to remember or completely devoid of victory, your child needs to know that they have your unquestioned love and support, so don’t be afraid to lavish them with love, hugs and maybe even a charitable reward for working super hard over the course of the year.
Interested in having the tools to help your child get back on the right track? We’ve just finished our Play Better Coaches Tool Kit for teams who join up Play Better! It’s such added value and will set you and your child up for success this season!
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