Ever seen a 4 year old soccer game? Parents are spread out all over the field. Some parents would be in the middle of the field, some right next to their kids, some holding hands with their kids, and somewhere in the middle was the soccer ball. It proved to be a great way to help 4 year olds ease into soccer as a sport.
It’s also a great symbol for how parenting works. When those same kids are playing 10 year old soccer, guess where the parents are? Not in the middle of the field, they’re on the sideline. The sideline. Just out of view, but still participating from a distance.
Parents need to accept that as kids approach the preteen years, kis will see parents as on the periphery. They won’t consider their parents as part of their “real life” with their friends. The good news is that this is perfectly natural. It has to happen for our children as they mature and grow up. They can’t depend on us forever, so from preteen ages and beyond they begin to exerct some independence and show what they can do all by themselves.
Will they fail? You betcha!
It’s hard for us as parents, but it’s necessary. Time to start planning your sideline strategy. How will you influence the game from the periphery?