Great Reminder For Parents As Kids Perform

There are some pieces of advice that you hear that stick with you. Maybe it comes from a conversation you had with someone or something thought-provoking you heard a speaker say or something you read. I was reminded today of a solid piece of parenting advice I read a while ago through a rather unlikely source – Timehop.

My Timehop today pointed back to a post on my blog from four years ago. When I saw it, I thought two things:

  1. I can’t believe that was four years ago
  2. That is still so true today.

If you are a parent who has a student involved in sports of any kind (or any performance activity), this is so helpful. Check out this advice from four years ago that will be of value for years to come.

I thought what Tim Elmore shared in a recent post was great advice for parents. He wrote about what parents should say as they watch their kids perform and it would be worth your time to read the whole post.

If you’ve been to sporting events, you probably have a long list of what parents shouldn’t say as they watch their kids. In the post, based on psychological research, the three healthiest statements moms and dads can make as they perform are:

Before the Competition:
1. Have fun.
2. Play hard.
3. I love you.

After the competition:
1. Did you have fun?
2. I’m proud of you.
3. I love you.

Then he shared six simple words that parents should say based on what they heard from college athletes: “I love to watch you play.” If we could keep that as the primary part of our vocabulary, it would free the students to perform and the parents to cheer.

When There Are No Words

togetherThis week a tragedy hit our community. A young man – a high school senior – lost his life in an automobile accident on the way to school. It appears the rain falling that morning caused him to lose control and hit an electric pole.

School was already in session for the day and the administrators had the heavy responsibility of sharing the news with the student body. I was called along with other pastors and counselors to be present at the school. Once the news was shared, there really wasn’t much left to say. I had a few brief conversations with a handful of students, but nothing that could really touch the shock and sadness they felt.

What I did observe was what happens when there are no words. Students huddled together and talked. Some simply sat and cried. It was unique to watch students support one another. I saw teenage boys, who might usually just give a quick head nod or a “what’s up?” in the hallway, ask each other how they were doing. They offered hugs. Pats on the back. I heard several times, “how are you doing?” and “are you ok?” One student simply walked around with a box of tissues offering them to fellow students.

It is an event that occurs too often in communities everywhere. Young lives are lost and peers are left to sort through their emotions. I was reminded again of what many people call “the ministry of presence.” Words are few, but simply being present begins the process of healing and provides support for those who are grieving.

I appreciated the way the school leadership handled the situation and continue to pray for the family and friends of the young man. Sometimes, in the midst of our hurt, there are no words. But in the midst of pain, God offers comfort and hope.

Words for Parents as Kids Perform

kicking1When my kids were younger, I would volunteer to coach their teams. Like a lot of parents, I’ve coached YMCA basketball and soccer teams, “Paw Ball” basketball in Indiana, Upward basketball here in Ohio and was a “band parent” when my son was in marching band. I’ve also been through the transition of moving from primary coach to a cheering parent on the sidelines or in the stands.

I thought what Tim Elmore shared in a recent post was great advice for parents. He wrote about what parents should say as they watch their kids perform and it would be worth your time to read the whole post.

If you’ve been to sporting events, you probably have a long list of what parents shouldn’t say as they watch their kids. In the post, based on psychological research, the three healthiest statements moms and dads can make as they perform are:

Before the Competition:
1. Have fun.
2. Play hard.
3. I love you.

After the competition:
1. Did you have fun?
2. I’m proud of you.
3. I love you.

Then he shared six simple words that parents should say based on what they heard from college athletes: “I love to watch you play.” If we could keep that as the primary part of our vocabulary, it would free the students to perform and the parents to cheer.

Hurtful Words have an Atomic Half-Life ~ Bruce Van Horn

kicking1Our words carry a lot of weight and the things we say can have an impact long past the actual event in which they were said. I read this article today and it reaffirms the power of our words.

The author of the article shares this memory from his past:

I’m now 48 years old but I still remember the words, and how they made me feel, that a coach said to me when I was 17–31 years ago!

I was not feeling well and had performed poorly at a cross-country meet. I normally placed in the top-5 for my team, but came in well below that for this race. When the coach asked me what happened, I just said “I didn’t feel good.” He must have interpreted that as “I just didn’t feel like pushing hard today.” What he said to me in front of all of my teammates was “Van Horn, you’re a loser! You’ll never amount to anything in life.”

Read the rest of the article (the link is below) and the author’s thoughts on the power of our words. It’s a good reminder to all of us.

Hurtful Words have an Atomic Half-Life ~ Bruce Van Horn.

New Words in the Dictionary

While on vacation last week, I was checking email and got one from Youth Ministry Media. It’s a weekly update for Youth Workers pertaining to students, technology and how to communicate with students.

One particular article in the email talked about 35 new words that were being added to the Oxford Dictionary.  I thought it was interesting and wondered about the process of selecting words to add to the dictionary.

Here are the words.  I was familiar with most of the words, but not all of them.  (Mankini – ewwwwww!)  What about you? Any thoughts?

1. Bling (n): Expensive, ostentatious clothing and jewelry.

2. Bromance (n): A close but non-sexual relationship between two men.

3. Chillax (v): Calm down and relax.

4. Crunk (adj): Very excited or full of energy.

5. D’oh (ex): Exclamation used to comment on a foolish or stupid action, especially one’s own.

6. Droolworthy (adj): Extremely attractive or desirable.

7. Frankenfood (n): Genetically modified food.

8. Grrrl (n): A young woman regarded as independent and strong or aggressive, especially in her attitude to men or in her sexuality (A blend of “Grrrr” and “Girl.”)

9. Guyliner (n): Eyeliner that is worn by men.

10. Hater (n): A person who greatly dislikes a specified person or thing.

11. Illiterati (n): People who are not well educated or well informed about a particular subject or sphere of activity.

12. Infomania (n): The compulsive desire to check or accumulate news and information, typically via mobile phone or computer.

13. Jeggings (n): Tight-fitting stretch trousers for women, styled to resemble a pair of denim jeans.

14. La-la Land (n): A fanciful state or dream world. Also, Los Angeles.

15. Locavore (n): A person whose diet consists only or principally of locally grown or produced food.

16. Mankini (n): A brief one-piece bathing garment for men, with a T-back.

17. Mini-Me (n): A person closely resembling a smaller or younger version of another.

18. Muffin Top (n): A roll of fat visible above the top of a pair of women’s tight-fitting low-waisted trousers.

19. Muggle (n): A person who is not conversant with a particular activity or skill.

20. Noob (n): A person who is inexperienced in a particular sphere or activity, especially computing or the use of the Internet.

21. Obvs (adv): Obviously.

22. OMG (ex): Used to express surprise, excitement, or disbelief. (Dates back to 1917.)

23. Po-po (n): The police.

24. Purple State (n): A US state where the Democratic and Republican parties have similar levels of support among voters.

25. Screenager (n): A person in their teens or twenties who has an aptitude for computers and the Internet.

26. Sexting (n): The sending of sexually explicit photographs or messages via mobile phone.

27. Textspeak (n): Language regarded as characteristic of text messages, consisting of abbreviations, acronyms, initials, emoticons. (wut hpns win u write lyk dis.)

28. Totes (adv): Totally.

29. Truthiness (n): the quality of seeming or being felt to be true, even if not necessarily true.

30. Twitterati (n): Keen or frequent users of the social networking site Twitter.

31. Unfriend (v): Remove (someone) from a list of friends or contacts on a social networking site.

32. Upcycle (v): Reuse (discarded objects or material) in such a way as to create a product of higher quality or value than the original.

33. Whatevs (ex, adv): Whatever.

34. Whovian (n): A fan of the British science-fiction television series Doctor Who.

35. Woot (ex): (Especially in electronic communication) Used to express elation, enthusiasm, or triumph