Dear Aunt Becky, You are the Coach

In light of these parents getting exposed for paying their kids way into college, I feel as though we should discuss 2019 parenting. 

First off, we know this stuff happens everywhere. People paying their kids way into things. I just think it’s hilarious that Auntie Becky got caught thinking she’s above the rules of decency and good parenting. Jesse and the Rippers are going to be so disapointed

In my opinion, our generation of parenting is interesting and maybe we should stop to reflect for a moment. 

A few decades ago: No seat belts, no baby gates, latch key kids.. You know the generation that always shrugs and says “we didn’t know.

Well now we know. 

We know how to keep our kids safe. We have great tools to do that.

Yet, just like everything else in humanity, we oversteer the ship. 

This generation of parenting thinks that part of their job description is to protect their kids from all pain and failure. 

That is indeed the wrong job description. 

You are the coach, not their body guard.

When a boy from the neighborhood called me a “fat f*cking bag of fart cheese” while playing capture the flag one afternoon. It’s good my parents weren’t there to step in and solve that situation for me. 

The stinging on my face with embarassment. The lack of words to say. The twenty minutes of replaying that moment in my head while sulking on the swing. Coming up with a long lines of witty come backs. 

Learning to stand up for myself did not come from my parents standing up for me. It came from the fact that they empowered me and that I did it for myself.

Every time you want to come into a situation and throw haymakers for your kid. Stop and take a breath. Say out loud, “us as parents are the problem.

Your kid is not yours to control. It is not your job to stop them from ever feeling any pain or rejection. 

YOU ARE THE COACH.

Get off the court. Get onto the sidelines and start clapping. 

Call time out and have a conversation. Give advice. Talk about a plan.

Nope. Don’t go out onto the court. You can’t lift up your teenage kid to dunk the ball in the middle of the game. 

Back to the bench for you. Start clapping. 

You are the coach.

You are your kids biggest support! You make game plans. You watch film. You practice with them. You cheer for them louder than anyone in the stands.

But you don’t belong on the court. 

If your kid bricks a lay up. You have to watch. 

Then start clapping again. Build them up so they can see another opportunity will come. 

Get off the court or you will get a technical foul. 

My Dad got a lot of technical fouls while I was growing up, but good thing they were actual on the basketball court. Haha. Hi Dad! 

You have to be your child’s biggest support, but know where to draw the line. 

Don’t go onto the court. 

You don’t belong there. 

Getting rejected is powerful. Failing is powerful. Even though it’s hard to watch, you can’t steal those moments from your child’s development as a person. 

You have to coach them on how to deal with it. How to move on. How to regroup. How to not let those moments crush you or define you.  How to be brave enough to ask for help.

The worst thing you can do is give your kid something they didn’t earn. They will never grow up to be the humans you hoped they’d be.

We are the generation of parents who thinks their job is to do things for their kids. 

Please stop doing things for your kids. 

Please stop setting up their environment so precisely they don’t get to experience the world. 

Life is painful. Life is messy. Life sucks at times. 

Watching your kid be in pain can be hard. But that’s where you get all the life lessons. That is where you learn to be resilient. That’s how you learn that this too shall pass. 

Don’t worry, you will be right there to cheer for them when they stand back up and brush themselves off. 

You will be the loudest person cheering for them. 

But get off the fucking court. 

Love, 

Britt. 

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