(Breather) The Get Over Yourself podcast is branching out into the topic of parenting tips, whoopee!
In 2007, I read a landmark article in New York magazine called, “The Inverse Power of Praise—How Not To Talk To Your Kids.” It forever changed my perspective about parenting and I referenced the insights on a daily basis for years after. You might be surprised to learn that you actually have less of an influence on your kid’s success than you think, considering there are so many other influences, like their peers, along with their own innate qualities, that factor in much more than you do!
Some of these suggestions will be shocking and deeply thought-provoking. Your mind may be blown to realize that lavishing effusive praise might do your kid more harm than good; that innocent comments like, “You’re a great athlete,” or, “You’re so smart,” can make your kid become averse to challenge and progress. It sounds crazy, but when you try too hard to set your child up for success, you’re kind of doing the opposite, and instead setting them up for failure. Of course, we all want our kids to know that we see their best qualities, but acknowledging those things too much and focusing only on what it is that is “remarkable” about them will never do them any favors. Instead of praising the end result, praise the effort that went into the process – your child will respond and react to that kind of positive reinforcement in a way that’s much more productive for their growth.
This episode will give you some great tools and tips to improve your parenting skills and emphasize the research-proven effective strategies like praising effort that leads to improvement over end results. Also, check out my previous show with New York Times bestselling author Ashley Merryman for related details.
You have less influence on your kid’s success than you realize. [03:00]
Sometimes we don’t realize the damage our good intentions cause. [04:44]
Should every kid get a trophy? [08:30]
The kids often attach their self-esteem to a compliment you’ve given. [09:33]
Kids are smart. They learn early on what attributes they have. [12:18]
Allow your kids to fail and encourage them to keep trying. [15:53]
When so say, “I’m proud of you” to your kid, you are taking the accomplishment away from him or her and turning it on to yourself. [16:37]
Make your praise specific and sincere because general praise often has the opposite of the intended effect. [18:30]
Sometimes it’s best to be silent until the kid wants to talk. [23:00]
Comparing one kid to another is probably the worst thing you can do. [26:15]
Overpraised elementary school kids who equate success with innate ability instead of effort, struggle. [28:31]
Experiencing failure is a good learning experience because it builds resilience. [34:41]
- “Not only praise the effort, but praise effort that leads to improvement.”
LISTEN:Download Episode MP3
Get Over Yourself Podcast
Brad: 00:00 Welcome to the get over yourself podcast. This is author, an athlete, Brad Kearns, discovering ways to be healthy, fit and happy in hectic, high-stress, modern life. So let’s slow down and take a deep breath. Take a cold plunge and expertly balanced that competitive intensity with an appreciation of the journey. That’s the theme of the show. Here we go.
Brad: 03:00 From the description. Brad Kearns covers, health, fitness, peak performance, personal growth, relationships, happiness and longevity. Slow down. Take a deep breath, take a cold plunge and get over the high stress. I just said that on the recording, didn’t I? Well, it appears that we have diverse subject matter with all roads leading to happiness, longevity. So why don’t we branch out a little bit and cover one of my favorite topics. Parenting. He, yes. Parenting tips. Who am I to give out? Parenting tips. Well, I have a couple of kids. They’re ages 22 and 20. Um, and I’m going to skip to the very end. One of the summary points is get over yourself because you have less influence on your kid’s success than you realize.
Brad: 03:52 There are a lot of innate influences and lots of peer influences that take over and it’s supersede parental influence that would also be relating to a landing the copter. One of my quick takeaways for the very end of this two part show. So I wanted to skip to that because if you’re thinking, who is this guy to give out parenting tips, I guess you’d call me a professional parent because I have a kids that are now adult and have some good reflections. But I really want to go back to this incredible, uh, article in the New York times magazine that appeared in 2007 referencing the great work of Stanford professor Carol Dweck, uh, known for her book mindset. Uh, and also, uh, led me to the great work of PO Bronson and Ashley Merryman, the author team that has written numerous bestselling books. And I had Ashley on the show.
Brad: 04:44 So go listen to that show about her book Nurture Shock and her other book, Top Dog about competition, the science of winning and losing and testosterone. A nurture shock was about parenting. Uh, so this article, the inverse power of praise, how not to talk to your kids, uh, was absolutely life changing for me as a father. And I reflected upon it pretty much every single day for years and years afterward when I was faced with, uh, communication decisions and parenting decisions. Uh, it basically changed my entire philosophy about many aspects of being a parent, being a supportive parent and being Mr. Positive Guy and transferring that over to raising my kids. Uh, it called into question a lot of it right on the spot. Uh, so you get this article on the New York times website and you have to click to go to the next page, click to go to the next page about seven times.
Brad: 05:40 And every time I clicked on that next page, uh, I uttered out an exclamation like Holy fuck. And realizing, uh, possible damage that I had been doing. Uh, and many other parents around me of course, when was engaging in the typical cultural norms of obsessively praising your child and trying to boost their self esteem by making them feel like they’re the center of the universe. And a superstar no matter what and all that kind of stuff. We’re guilty of, especially in the modern generation, which can be accurately described as the age of the helicopter parent. In contrast to perhaps previous generations where there wasn’t so much hands on, obsessive parenting, largely to the detriment of today’s, uh, sheltered youth to make generalizations. And speaking of my kids, my son hates when I do that or say any sort of comment about millennials and I totally accepted his point.
Brad: 06:39 One time he called me out on it and I’m like, you’re right. I can’t make a broad generalization. There are a lot of millennials who are, uh, this is coming from my son mostly, uh, busting their ass, working really hard, not entitled, not privileged, none. Any of that nonsense. And having a difficult time, uh, finding job, career, uh, making ends meet in high economic places, uh, much more difficult than perhaps a couple generations ago. I remember when I was graduating college, uh, the accounting firms swarmed the campus to conduct interviews. And lure you there with, uh, excellent job opportunities so you would have multiple job opportunities if all you did was pass your classes in the accounting track at my school. Uh, and I think, uh, in many ways it’s a little more difficult, a little more complex now, uh, but there’s also some of those generalizations can hit home when you’re talking about, uh, the entitled kid whose parents attend the job, interview with them or argue with the professor over a grade, the parent doing this, uh, which actually happens.
Brad: 07:38 And there’s a entire books about the subject, uh, pretty alarming. So I was always trying to maintain open mind, uh, and be receptive to new information and new techniques as my kids were going through the years. And I thought I would highlight this article and of course take it and run with it, uh, from the centerpiece of the article, which I urge you to read. Uh, but the basic premise of the article is that we’re screwing up our kids and probably screwing up ourselves by over-parenting them valuing results over effort and trying to shield them from failure. So these are the fundamentals of the helicopter parenting age where we think that orchestrating our kids’ success, setting them up for success. So much so to the extent that we’re crafting everything and curating and cultivating everything.
Brad: 08:30 Ashley Merryman brings up the antidote frequently about every kid getting a trophy, which is so commonplace in all the sports leagues, especially the ones I participated in with my kids. I was the coach. So I was the guy that had to order the trophies. And of course we’re ordering a trophy or a medal for every single kid. Now, some of this can be taken out of context to make the point. And I am not too concerned about every kid get or getting a trophy after completing a competitive season cause we don’t know what these kids are bringing to the table or to the field. And just making it through a season could be a wonderful accomplishment deserving of a trophy for many kids. And then there’s also the, uh, MVP award and things like that, which I think are perfectly acceptable, uh, for the kids to distinguish themselves. And, uh, I think the important point that Ashley makes is like trying to, uh, boost kids’ self esteem by making everyone feel like they’re exceptional. Uh, can have some real trouble down the line.
Brad: 09:33 When you face the reality of a competitive, uh, world, competitive workplace, uh, whenever you get to the point where the going gets tough, uh, sometimes the resiliency is not there because of this massive effort to shield kids from failure. So the article posts these wild ideas that if you were for example, to tell your kid “You’re really smart”, “you’re a great athlete,” “you’re a great musician,” “you’re really beautiful,” it is possible for the kid to attach their self esteem to these characteristics such that they may withdraw from higher challenges in the future in order to protect those characterizations. And even in the, uh, example of praising their physical beauty, this may cause, especially on the female side, it may cause a female to trade on those attributes rather than build up other areas of her personality. You get what I’m saying? Uh, especially relevant when you’re talking about athletics and telling your little superstar on the eight year old soccer field that just scored two goals, that you’re a fantastic soccer player.
Brad: 10:45 You’re amazing. You’re a great athlete. The kid will try to protect these attributes and not want to take on the more intense challenges that may make him feel like a failure someday because he’s so wedded to the idea that he is the great superstar champion soccer player. So then you throw them into a challenging league, right? Escalating the sporting experience when appropriate and that could lend to real trouble. So Ashley’s quick insight that she centerpieced on her book and talked about in the podcast that we did, was that you want to praise effort over results. And then years after she wrote that in Nurture Shock number one bestselling New York Times book, uh, she qualified it or enhance the description to say, you must not only praise effort but praise or look to praise effort that leads to improvement. So it’s not just about making an effort. You go to go to a work or school every day and make an effort in the wrong direction and effort that’s ill-advised. Or you know, let’s say a little kids trying to become a good golfer and they have a crappy swing because haven’t gotten lessons yet because their parent has taught them cause their parent knows everything and you praise the effort every single day, but it’s misdirected. That is going to miss the mark as well. So, uh, when you’re praising these innate characteristics, rather than having all the praise focused on effort, the kids may overvalue these things and this will prevent them from growing and improving.
Brad: 12:18 Uh, another important point that the article made was that very, very early on, kids are pretty smart. Kids on the playground. The playground collectively is pretty smart. So guess what? Those kids that are exceptional athletes, they learn this really early on from the world around them. The people who are physically attractive learn that very early on. They don’t need any more validation or reinforcement of that, that you’re going to have to probably work through, uh, making an effort to not trade on physical beauty. And build other areas of their personality less that really screwed them up. And we know so many examples of that pointing all the way up to, uh, the elite of the culture, the celebrities, the fashion, the supermodels where there’s a lot of prevalence of, um, destructive lifestyle behaviors, self esteem struggles even with people who by all accounts, uh, would be valued in society for their attractiveness, let’s say. Uh, so, uh, the innocent idea of a parent telling their daughter that “you’re pretty” can lead to negative consequences. Imagine that or telling your child “you’re a great athlete” or “you’re really smart”. There were studies detailed in the article, the Inverse Power of Praise where they would give these kids a test and then afterward, uh, scoring the test or whatever, they’d have the kid in there and they’d tell a certain control group.
Brad: 13:51 “You’re really smart.” And then the other control group, “you made a great effort on the test” and then they’d make the tests harder and harder. And the kids who were told they were smart, uh, wilted from further challenge. I think they were asked, do you want to try even harder tests? And they said, no thanks. I’m good. I’m just going to keep my smart card and, and head out, uh, to the, uh, to the playground for recess where, uh, I’ll, I’ll know that I’m a great athlete because of my, uh, natural, uh, peer interactions. Yeah. Um, what happens when you, uh, lock in on these patterns and keep them to adulthood? I’ll volunteer my hand right now and say, you know what, uh, I grew to think of myself as a triathlete because I spent nine years living and breathing the sport of triathlon and racing on the professional circuit and achieving these great successes that I dreamed about since I was a little kid.
Brad: 14:41 I always wanted to be a professional athlete when I was a little guy. First it was in the NFL, then I realized that I wasn’t going to be, um, even big enough to survive one day on the high school football practice field. I wanted to be a basketball player. I wanted to be this. I wanted to be that I had these dreams. I love playing sports. And then I found myself living out my dream life as a professional athlete. And so it was very easy, especially when I succeeded at an early age, early into my career. It was very easy to attach my self esteem and my identity to being a professional triathlete. And that works out really well until the day that you start to struggle. And then when your attachment, when your mindset, when your ego is tied into what place you cross the finish line, you have to unwind all that to be the best that you can be and live a well adjusted happy life. Okay, so here’s the, and this is just a brief overview of uh, the, the, the comments in the, in the article and the premise that we want to have effort based praise rather than results-based praise. And then we can get into some, uh, tips to make this transition.
Brad: 15:53 So one of them is allowing your kids to fail and encouraging them to keep trying. Uh, the writer even pushed back and said, I know this sounds so cliche to keep saying try, try again, try harder. But when you encourage them to keep trying. So when you allow them to fail and encourage them to keep trying rather than rescuing, you were giving them more responsibility, accountability, less handholding and less intervening into tough sticky situations in life. Any parents raise your hand right now if you’re driving a car, raise one of your hands if you’d know what I’m talking bout.
Brad: 16:37 Okay, next bullet point. Uh, besides allowing them to fail, encourage them to keep trying. Next. Praise the effort toward improvement. This is the clarification from Ashley Merryman and avoid character based praise. This is one of the mind blowing insights that I talk about that I kept thinking about over and over for years afterward. A routine parenting comment such as I’m proud of you can mess a kid up. So you go to the school play and your kid got the lead role as Abraham Lincoln and you’re driving home in the car, hopefully stopping for ice cream to celebrate the success of the uh, the, the, the theater performance. And you say, I’m very proud of you. You did a great job in the play. Guess what? All of a sudden you turned it from a kid’s performance to the kid being a show pony for the parents’ amusement.
Brad: 17:32 Are you with me? This has been the one that really turned the corner for me and I’ve caught myself so many times and I simply do not utter those words to my kids. I’m proud of you. Instead, guess what I do every single time I have that urge? You should be very proud of yourself, right? My son’s about to graduate UCLA. You must be a proud father. Not really. Cause I didn’t set foot on the damn campus or open a book. It was all about him and his journey and his hard work to become a college graduate. So should I say I’m proud of you that you perform for my amusement cause I like UCLA. I was born there. Whoop. Damn. Do you want to keep it in the kid’s court and have him own his accomplishments, him or her and also own their struggles and failures. So this is a big one for me. You can argue it if you want. Write in and say that you should say I’m proud of you. Nah, I love it. I love the concept of switching it over to “You should be proud of yourself”.
Brad: 18:30 Next one, make your praise specific and sincere because general praise often has the opposite of the intended effect. The kid thinks that general praise arrives because he actually sucks and you’re just trying to cover for him, right? Oh my gosh, you’re an amazing artist. When you give some piece of crap, a dinosaur drawing to your parent, the kids get smart and they realize that this general fluffy praise is not really on point perhaps because in the poor kid’s mind, they’re forming self limiting beliefs. Because as we know from my highlight show about Bruce Lipton’s work, this is what our minds are busy doing from ages zero to six. We’re forming judgements and self limiting beliefs that we have to work hard to unwind the rest of our lives. So when you float out that general praise every single day, Oh my gosh. And I’ve, uh, experienced this, uh, with teenagers where they just throw it back in your face like, no, you don’t really mean it. And sometimes they have a point. Okay. So, uh, the science shows, the research shows that kids can start to smell insincere praise starting at age seven. So since I read this in 2007 when my kids were seven and nine, I’ve always tried to praise the effort and minimize the importance of results over external measurements and judgments and also get whatever praise comes forth to be very specific and sincere. So adult listeners, if you little kid listening, teenager listening, Hey, hi, it’s Brad Kearns. How you doing? Thanks for listening. Hope this stuff doesn’t mess with your head.Hope you have some value out of it. But for the parents listening, the language is very, very important. So we want to work really hard and understand that huge distinction between I’m proud of you and you should be proud of yourself and extending this theme and picking the right language and being specific with your praise. You can start to pepper your commentary with comments like “great effort.” Uh, “clearly you worked really hard on that painting. You should be proud of yourself”. Uh, things like that.
Brad: 20:48 And since we’re still in this, uh, over-sexualized, uh, misogynistic culture, look no further than the headlines in the Harvey Weinstein trial. We want to be careful with the little ones to not set them up to buy into this, uh, these flawed cultural notions of, for example, a male conquest, uh, a female, a sex object, all that nonsense that we need to, uh, work to eradicate from society. So instead of, uh, talking to the middle schoolers or the, the elementary kids and saying, wow, you’re going to be you a real lady killer when you get older or you’re going to be a real heartbreaker boy, are you beautiful? Uh, that kind of stuff could be transitioned into that, um, specific insincere praise. So I might say something to, um, a daughter like, wow, your hair looks really great today. Oh, what a beautiful outfit you’re wearing. Things like that. Okay. Um, and then when you’re, uh, uh, have a chance to deliver feedback, you can come up with some thoughtful questions and commentary rather than that fluffy, fluffy stuff. So, “wow, the birds on that drawing are really realistic”. Or after a basketball game, I might say, “you know, I noticed how you did a good job passing the ball quickly back to the post when you were out there on the wing.”
Brad: 22:07 “Uh, I also noticed you were really hustling, uh, in the last few minutes of the game when everyone was tired and you made a great impact with your hustle. Uh, so great job. How did you feel about it?” And get into an engagement and back and forth? Uh, one of my favorite stories, uh, with my son playing in intense high school basketball environment, you know, it wasn’t easy. There’s a lot of emotions running with the parents, the kids, the coaches, a high stakes in the case of my son’s team, cause these guys, uh, went on a beautiful run for two years and made it to the second round of the state tournament. Not bad for a little suburban school in, uh, Northern California. And, uh, at times, you know, it was a, it was a challenge to navigate it. And I was trying to do a really great job as a parent and you know, get that engagement rather than being yet another person who gets to next year, my player, besides all the coaches and the rest of the world.
Brad: 23:00 So I would, uh, make a practice after games of, uh, letting my son talk when he was ready rather than dispense. All my incredible, uh, observant feedback as a, you ha in the stands who never played the game at the high school level. Uh, and one time he was particularly frustrated after the team lost in a championship tournament game. We had a long drive, three hour drive home and I said, ah, I’m going to let him chill until, you know, if he wants to talk it out. He had some definite things that was a working through and that car was silent for 90 minutes from Redding, California to Chico, California. And I was not gonna break the code, man. I was not going to be the first one to talk. Then we pulled Chipotle lay, uh, inhaled some burritos and his case, and then the rest of the drive home, another 90 minutes was nonstop banter.
Brad: 23:53 And hopefully I made a positive contribution to allow him to work through some of his frustrations and insights that he was having. But guess what? If I had started out that drive, you know, with the insights that were bursting forth that I was ready to spew out of my mouth, it could have gone entirely in a negative direction. Okay, so speaking for a moment specifically to the segment, an audience of the highly competitive former athletic parent, remember that this is the kid’s journey. You had your chance back in middle school, high school, college ball, a cup of coffee in the minors, wherever you’ve made it to, you did your thing, man, you’ve been there and done that. So let the kid be the player and you can be the caddy. A great golf analogy applies here because the caddy carries the bag, you know, opens doors, gives the kid opportunity. You’re going to get the kid, the shoes, you’re going to drive him to the gym or to the golf course. Uh, but the caddy does not hit the shot for the kid and the kid hits a bad shot. There’s nothing you can do as a caddy except to help him find the right club to hit the next shot, get it, got it? Good and tone down things as they get older and older. So I was the coach from day one cause I wanted that experience to be positive and supportive and emphasizing fun and including everyone and making everyone feel like a team and deemphasizing all that overly competitive, uh, the excess competitive intensity that you see so often in huge sports. I fought that battle really hard. The kids and the parents wanted to be on my team cause I always made it fun.
Brad: 25:30 But then at a certain point, uh, when the escalation occurs to where, uh, the things start to get serious, particularly in high school, uh, where you have professional coaches that do this for a living, the best place for the parent is to go sit in the stands and cheer for the team, support everyone, uh, be a voice of reason and listening sounding board when the kids ready to talk. But step back from that role as the end all/know it all that you actually were when your kids were little make sense out. Right. Thanks for, um, thanks for listening to Brad. Here I was, I’ve been there. Okay. Trying to tone things down is a really great goal no matter how competitive or how awesome you were back in yo day. Okay.
Brad: 26:15 So if you’re getting a little bit chapped, a little bit offended, uh, with the admonition to not say, I’m proud of you to your kid or you’re beautiful or any of those things, let’s make sure that unconditional love is the centerpiece of the parenting journey. But just be really careful with your language. So to express your unconditional love. Of course with your actions, even more important than your words. But of course you’re allowed to say you’re a beautiful person inside and out. That’s a whole shitload different than telling some little wise ass seventh grader that he’s “going to be a lady killer in high school.” Huge difference. Get it. Thank you. Uh, you can say things like, you’re a great kid, you have a kind heart. But then possibly combining those insights with something that’s specific, that really hits home. So you could say something like, “You have a kind heart. That was really nice how you listened to great grandma’s entire story so attentively.” Okay. Now compare and contrast with these fluffy throw away sentiments that can cause attachment of self esteem to character attributes. When you say “you’re so pretty”, “you’re so smart” “you’re the best athlete in the whole school,” which is probably the worst thing to convey to a kid is that comparative aspect.
Brad: 27:32 So if you, if you, uh, your kid’s on the bench too much and you tell him, yeah, I mean, I can’t believe you’re third string quarterback. You are so much better, uh, than, than Tommy, the four-star recruit who threw for 37 touchdowns. Okay. Or you deserve to be homecoming queen instead of her that has a lasting negative effects and generating negative energy to the world at large. All right? So none of that. If you think your kids should be in the starting lineup instead of the person in front of him. Oh, what could you say? How about, well, “I’ll bet you putting in some extra work on your dribbling over the weekend might make a huge impact.” Or “Hey, uh, if you’re not starting, that means practice is like the NBA finals for you. So I suggest you dive on some loose balls and practice and see how long it is that you’re going to ride the pine when you’re diving for loose balls.” That’s a great comeback rather than, yeah, that guy, uh, missed so many shots at the last game. I couldn’t believe it. Oh, huge difference. Okay, thank you, people.
Brad: 28:31 A little more on praise and then we’ll end this part one of the show. So it’s not all bad. Praise can be a motivator. Right? But it has to be specific and sincere. As we discussed before. Remember the third bullet point of the transition from fluffy helicopter parenting. Uh, you want to allow them to fail, encourage them to keep trying, praise the effort toward improvement and avoid character-based praise. And finally make your praise specific and sincere. Uh, this article talks about a psychologist Wolf Meyer, uh, in his studies suggesting that by age 12, children think that earning praise from a teacher is not a sign that you did well, but that the teacher thinks you need extra encouragement because you’ve may have reached the limits of your innate ability.
Brad: 29:21 Whew. So praised students tend to become risk averse and lacked perceived autonomy. The scholars found consistent correlations between a liberal use of praise and students’ shorter task persistence, more eye checking with the teacher and infected speech such that answers have the intonation of questions. They’re getting insecure from all the praise. Overpraised elementary school kids who equate success with innate ability instead of effort get to middle school and struggle, they make the assumption that they’ve been dumb all along and they’ve hit their upper limit. Oftentimes the research shows that they resort to cheating. So the little smarty pants from elementary school, or maybe it was elementary school and middle school, they get to high school, it gets tough. They don’t have the proper coping skills because they’ve never been allowed to fail. They’ve been praised all the way through. What the heck are they going to do?
Brad: 30:19 They’re going to cheat to get that A because it’s all about the A it’s all about the bumper sticker, international listeners. I don’t know if you know what I’m talking about, but here in America we have these obnoxious bumper stickers that say my child is an A student at River Edge Elementary School or what have you. I don’t know. Do they have those in other countries? It’s like, why do we need to brag to the world? And, and so now a wonderfully, there are a whole bunch of, uh, piss take, uh, bumper stickers, uh, modeling that ridiculous trend that maybe is going away. Now. I don’t see too many of those anymore, probably because those parents have seen, um, the, uh, the, the counter bumper stickers that says, uh, “my dog is smarter than your A student”, and so on and so forth. Hey, I’m sorry to come off, a little harsh on the bumper sticker thing, but let’s wake up a little bit.
Brad: 31:11 Let’s reflect a little bit. Rather than just a falling in line with cultural norms that may be destructive overall and let the kid own his straight A’s himself. Don’t brag about it and let him brag about it if he wants and then get his ass kicked in a hard class in high school. I think all of us can go back and reference, uh, some of our favorite teachers or instructors or coaches, uh, that really challenged us. And, uh, we’re so far from that, uh, effusive, uh, general fluffy praise. The absolute opposite was what woke us up and allowed us to be the best we could be and learn and grow as people from, uh, people that gave it to us with the straight scoop. Oh my gosh. Uh, one of my favorite Heath coaches, uh, Ken G who runs the YBA youth basketball Academy here in the Sacramento area.
Brad: 32:02 He was a straight shooter at all times with all his players. Everyone knew where they stood. Uh, if a kid wasn’t starting, they knew why knew what they needed to work on and it was not sugarcoated in any way. And it was a, I think, a tougher journey than the typical, uh, recreational leagues where every kid gets a trophy. Every kid has fun. We know most of you all aren’t headed toward the high school experience cause there’s only 14 kids on the bench for the varsity team. Uh, and that’s okay. But if you want to be good and you have a kid who is showing those signs of wanting to excel, whether it’s in violin or in sports, and want to place them in an environment which, uh, might position them to succeed and to be challenged, that’s great. But again, the kid really has to direct that and it has to be sort of a, uh, a default or a destiny rather than forcing that or orchestrating that. And I see that so many times where kids are thrust into an over pressurized competitive experience of some kind, uh, because the parent thinks it’s in the kids’ best interest. Um, so in my case, uh, I remember watching my kid play basketball on the recreational leagues and scoring a lot of points and having a lot of fun and building his passion for the sport. And I realized when the season was over and he still wanted to play, I said, okay, this is the step. We’re going to drive down the hill to the, uh, larger urban population center and go find a team that is going to give you an elevated competitive experience from the, uh, easy, uh, lower caliber, uh, recreational league. And Oh my gosh. When we took him to the first practice in fifth grade and he went into this gym filled with giant kids who were in the same grade as him, he didn’t even realize it on the way home.
Brad: 33:45 He goes, what grade were those guys? They were really good. I’m like, they’re all fifth grade dude. That’s the fifth grade all star team. So those wake up calls are really wonderful learning experience going hand in hand with the great success that you have at a certain level that, uh, builds your interest and your self esteem. So I think, uh, in general, uh, having the little guys go on a run and the under 10 soccer team goes 12 and 0 and goes all the way into the final championship and wins. And every kid gets a trophy and celebrates and they think they’re God’s gift to the, uh, the game of soccer. That’s cool man. That’s success is cool. And then, uh, going Oh and 12, and believe me, I’ve been on both sides of the coin as a coach where we ran the table and had great success and everybody’s happy and smiling and then, uh, getting our butts kicked over and over and over and being the worst team by far, not even close to the level of competition of the other teams.
Brad: 34:41 Somehow that was also a positive learning experience because it builds resilience and it builds, uh, you know, further desire to, to continue to work hard and, and persevere through struggle. So it’s all good. When it’s out there in sports, unless you overemphasize the importance of that 10 to 0 championship record or overemphasize the importance of being 0 and 12 and thinking that it’s all sad and it’s an occasion that you should skip the uh, the, uh, the ice cream store after the game. It’s all good. Go with the flow. Everyone get over themselves and uh, continue working hard. But to end the show with a great quote from coach Ken one time I was particularly frustrated, uh, with the back and forth and where the emphasis was placed on, uh, my kid’s sporting experience trying to look out for him. And I was kind of exasperated and I said, Hey, isn’t it supposed to be all about having fun being the number one priority? And coach Ken said, no, that’s not the number one priority. He goes, you know why? He goes, kids can go to the park and have fun. They can roll a ball out onto the grass field and have a lot of fun and then throw water balloons after. And that’s all kinds of fun. He goes, the number one priority of organized youth sports is to give a kid a positive experience, which is different than having fun. A positive experience can be getting your ass kicked, getting benched when you think you’re the hot shot going 0 and 12 for the season instead of going 0 and 12. And Oh, those are all positive experiences, opportunities for personal growth. So that stopped me in my tracks right there and I realized that the uh, the disparate goals of fun and positive experience, uh, should be distinguished. Thank you so much for listening to the parenting tips on the get over yourself podcast. More coming.
Brad: 36:38 Thank you for listening to the show. We would love your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org and we would also love if you could leave a rating and a review on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts. I know it’s a hassle. You have to go to desktop iTunes, click on the tab that says ratings and reviews and then click to rate the show anywhere from five to five stars. And it really helps spread the word so more people can find the show and get over themselves cause they need to. Thanks for doing it.