Parent Cheerleaders

Though I am not biologically a parent, I’ve had my share of experiences with children.  I was priviledged to be part of a group of Sunday school teachers since before my teen years.  Our class size was about 120 students in the Bay area.  I’ve also had an important role in the life of my nieces and nephew whom I’ve cared for in frequent semi-extended periods of times.  I’ve work with youth for several years, and have over 6 years of professional experience in public classroom settings from pre-K to 10th grade.  (The previous is not just rambling to boast, rather it is to convince you that I might just know what I’m talking about in this blog.)

 I heard a story of a family that had a son who was pretty good in football.  The parents did everything in their own power to pump up their son’s “talent”.  When it came time for the son to enter high school, the parents sold their house  move to another city which had the best football team around.  Sold the house…imagine that??!  Four years later, their son is upset because he “just now found out” that he does NOT have (contrary to what his parents always told him) what it takes to get into the college football team he always wished for.  His parents had always cheer his meer efforts and pumped his “unique talent”.  Sure ,in primary years, he kid had “self-…or should I say, shelf-esteem” meaning it was a value held high by third party not by himself.  But what about now? In the real world?  All this time, he lived with a false image of an effortless invinsible self.  His anger perhaps is at the parents or more probable, at the unfair college coach. huh….gold figure!

Self-esteem is developed by the literal meaning of these words: esteem (value) found in (by) oneself.  It is the merits, goals, feats, and things I achieve that give me my perception of SELF-WORTH.  How much do I think I am worth is the real question.  Neither money, words of affirmation, gifts, nor external motivators can bring genuine self-esteem.  Parents need to understand this concept so that they in hand can teach it to their children.  Setting achievable goals with one’s child at a very early age and an action plan will set-up one’s child not only for a positive self-esteem but a successful lifestyle with good habits.

So, to the “parent cheerleader” who over-pumps their kid to deceptively increase their child’s self-esteem: who moves/knocks/and stomps on whatever/whoever to make sure their child does not have to face the “evil people” in life (the teachers, students, law enforcements, youth leaders, etc); who parents out of guilt and showers his/her kid with unmerited gifts; who can’t bear the fact that his/her kid might just be average or dare I say,  below average; who risks losing their marriage to save their child’s behind; who bends the rules of the game and thinks that the game of life will bend its moments’ time just for their kid…..let none of us forget that:

When half time is over, the cheerleaders are just leading cheers, and the football player has to go out onto the field win the game all on his own.

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