Tonight I was washing dishes while listening to Daft Punk. It was a big job and I needed some motivational music. I started to think about the abysmal season that just ended for the 49ers, culminating with the firing of their head coach, Mike Singletary. Then, I started thinking about how parenting is like football and this is what I came up with.
1. Football can be brutal. In football there are collisions, bruises, injuries and a lot of pain. In a similar fashion parenting can leave us pretty beat up, emotionally that is. It is a part of the job description. The question is how do we recover, heal and move on to the next challenge?
2. You can always start over. After a major loss or setback, there is always next week’s game or certainly the hope of next season (Insert prayer for the 49ers). As parents, we can always start over. We can apologize, fix our mistakes, ask for help and continue to improve as the imperfect people that we are.
3. Keep changing your plays, but have a solid game plan. Strong offense, strong defense and ever changing plays. As parents we have to be flexible and continually adjusting our approach to our changing children. The game plan that stays the same is our consistent love, support and firm limits.
4. Good coaches are important. A good coach can be the success or failure of the team. In one sense, you are the coach (leader) of your family. Of course, keeping in mind the important roles of our spouses or significant others. You are key to the success of your family. You also need good coaches in the form of trusted friends and family, good books and a therapist if necessary.
5. You have to play until the end. Many games are won or lost in the final minutes and even seconds of play. Sometimes it is about making it through the end of a rough day and sometimes it is trying to survive a difficult season in your child’s life. As parents, our jobs are never finished, though our roles change with time. We continue to parent through adolescence, young adulthood and into adult relationships with our kids. Always providing support and wisdom.
Photo credit: familymwr