Children and Sports

Dear Dr. Meg, Can you write on children and sports?  My daughter is in first grade, is very tall and is very athletic.  Everyone around us is always asking if she is going to play volleyball or basketball.  So she has been asking when she gets to start.  We have been holding her out because we feel that it’s more important to have family time.  My husband and I have read 10 habits for mothers and strong fathers strong daughters, boys will be boys.  She is in student council that meets once every few months and swim lessons once a week every once in a while not year round.  I guess I just need a little pep talk that we are doing the right thing. We live in a city where people have their kids in one sports year around.  It’s hard to find those three day clinics in the summer like we did as a kid.  A friend told me about a basketball program that was only one practice a week and a game on Saturday.  So I’m starting to slip on saying, No.  My husband who has coached HS football in the past was asked to coach a high school feeder team.  He just asked for the details and it was for 8 year olds and under, 4-days a week for an hour game on Saturday.  He was just appalled.  I would just go back to coaching high school with that schedule.  “Plus” he said, “Parents that would put their kids in a program like that would be really annoying!”  I just want to do the best thing for her...

Do You Know Your Life’s Deeper Purpose?

Each of us mothers is created to fill a calling. First and foremost, we were born to be really good moms. We weren’t born to be mothers who are thin, rich, smart, who drive a lot, buy our kids great clothes, or get them into good colleges. We were born to leave a mark in our world, and usually, that mark is made on our kids and then on others’ lives. Sometimes we leave our mark because of something we have done for other persons, and other times it happens because we were with that person. We are beings—mother beings. We are human beings but we focus so constantly on the doing of life that we forget how to be. Our deeper purpose in life flows from a sense that our presence is important to another person. We have something to share with another and sometimes this takes work, and sometimes it means simply being who we are in the company of another. In addition to fulfilling our purpose as good moms, we are born to do more, in time. At the risk of sounding overly philosophical I would like to assert that we have lost this sense of being because we are afraid of what lies beneath the superficial in us. If we set aside the energy we put into fitness, dieting, trying to be a better mom that the next mom, what is left? we wonder. What we find below the dieting, working, running around in the car and exercising is a deepness that has been undiscovered. The tricky part about discovering our giftedness is that it...
Parenting From Fear Makes You Crazy

Parenting From Fear Makes You Crazy

If you’re just now joining us this week, find Part 1 of “Get Off the Crazy Train” here. Today’s post is Part 2 of “Get Off the Crazy Train.” Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 12. To honor and celebrate you, Mom, this week I’m posting about the tough—but oh, so rewarding— job of motherhood. I’ll also be giving away five copies of my book, The 10 Habits of Happy Mothers. Just leave me a comment on any of the blog posts this week (May 6-9), and you’ll be entered to win. Share the post via Facebook or Twitter and you can earn two more entries. Just come back to the blog post and leave a comment for each action. I’ll announce the five winners on Friday, May 10. ~~~ As a mom, I spent many years on the Crazy Train. I’ll bet you’ve spent awhile there, too. Maybe you’re riding around on it right now. Get off, Mom! It’s time to get off the Crazy Train. Almost every mother I talk to wonders whether or not she is parenting well enough. Her insecurity stems from this ride she’s taking. The Crazy Train takes us to a far away and “most excellent” place. Our peers ride alongside—but that’s not all. A parallel track runs beside us with our kids aboard. Their train picks up speed just like ours does.  And this part may surprise you—none of them wants to be on it but they are. Not because their friends are, but because we tell them they must be. Every parent lives with some anxiety about their parenting, worrying if they are...

A Foolproof Way to Give Your Child a Strong Self Image

Earlier this week, I wrote about news anchor Jennifer Livingston, who stood up to a viewer’s remarks about her weight. In that video, she says she has three young girls. I say those girls are especially blessed to have Jennifer as a mom. You can bet that they will grow up with a solid sense of knowing themselves and will get what makes them important. Kids develop a strong and healthy self image by watching their parents. When a daughter sees her mother refuse to be made fun of because of her weight or any other perceived weakness, that daughter likes what she sees. Every daughter wants to see her mother stand up for what is right.  But she not only applauds her mother; she learns some very important lessons about herself, too. When a  daughter watches her mother’s behavior, she does two things. First, she tries the behavior out. She may mimic her mother’s speech, tone of voice, or parrot her message. Then, if she likes the behavior, she will internalize it and allow it to become part of her character. In a very real sense, she gets part of her identity by watching her mother and “becoming her,” if you will. This is very important for mothers to understand. Many of us try to figure out what to say to our children and how to say it. Instead, we should be paying closer attention to how we are speaking to others and what we are saying to them. Because it’s what we say in front of our kids—not to them—that changes who our kids become. In Jennifer...