from Fuller Youth Institute, excerpted from article by Brad M. Griffin
Based on psychologists’ recommendations, student leadership development expert Tim Elmore suggests the following as the healthiest statements parents can make as kids perform:
Before the Competition:
I love you.
After the competition:
Did you have fun?
I’m proud of you.
I love you.
It gets even better. Researchers asked collegiate athletes what their parents said that made them feel great and brought them joy when they played sports. Want to know the six words they most want to hear their parents say?
“I love to watch you play.”
That’s it. Nothing aggrandizing like “you’re an all-star,” and nothing instructive like “here are a couple of things I noticed that you can work on.” Just “I love to watch you play.”
As I gear up for soccer, band concerts, baseball, swimming, and everything else I’ll be watching my three kids do this year, I’m internalizing these six words. I’m sure I’ll say other things, some that are helpful and some that aren’t.
But I want my kids to hear that doing what they do, and learning about who God created them to be, is a joy to watch as it unfolds.