Parents let’s make sure our kids know we love them, even when they’re not playing sports.
I love me kids. I also love sports. That shouldn’t be a problem, but it can be. Sometimes when our when kids compete in sports it can make us (me) a little loony. Somehow we can get emotionally confused and our own personal competitive drive and desire to win gets wrapped up in our kid’s sports performance. Crazy right? Yep. That’s when we start criticizing the crap out of our kid for not playing better, or running down their coach like we know any better, or griping about the officiating. All this, even after the game is over. A game. A kid’s game. That we didn’t even play in. Like I said, LOONY. But I’ve been there.
So to help remedy this, several years ago I started just telling my kids after games, first and foremost, I LOVE WATCHING YOU PLAY. That helped a lot. And it’s so true isn’t it? We really do just love watching them play! We can just leave it at that. Boom. Dad/Mom of the year award might as well be coming in the mail, I’m pulling muscles patting my righteous self on the back! Right? Not so fast..Because if that starts to be the only time they hear us talk about love, we’ve got a problem. A big one. Because wayyyy more important than loving to watch them play, they need to know that I love THEM. Just them.
Completely separate from sports or anything performance related they need to hear and know that I LOVE THEM. At night before they go to bed, before we part ways in the morning, before we end a phone call, they need to hear I LOVE YOU. If we only talk about love when we talk about something our kids do or play, we’re giving them the impression that our love is conditional. And that ain’t the deal. We love them unconditionally, because most people won’t.
I’ve got 2 grown kids now. Both were athletes. I’m glad I told them that I loved watching them play. But I’m even more glad that to this day I just get to say I love you, and then they say it back to me. I love sports, but watching our kids play sports doesn’t last. Love does.
Love never ends. 1 Corinthians 13:8