Helicopters
By Wes Simmons

Have you ever wondered why today’s adolescent seems to be more anxious, more depressed, and less resilient than those of previous generations? As this article suggests, it likely has a lot to do with how we as adults structure our kids’ lives.

In his 1969 book Parents & Teenagers, Dr. Haim Ginott first coined the now famous phrase “helicopter parent.” Helicopter parents are those who try to hover over every interaction and activity that their children are engaged in. Research continues to make a compelling case that the helicopter approach to governing our kids’ lives, doesn’t seem to be working out so well for the kids!

I certainly don’t want to imply that any well-meaning parent intends to do harm to their child. In most cases, their drive is quite the opposite! However, I do want to continue shedding light on the unintended consequences that come from micro-managing every aspect of our kids’ lives. Most notably, the opportunities for free-play that should abound in a flourishing childhood are being ousted by a rigid calendar full of activities that are designed to prepare our kids for the “next level.”

As you drive around your community, do you see many kids out exploring the neighborhood on their bikes? Where are the backyard whiffle-ball games? Where are the driveway basketball games? The playgrounds are empty and the driveways are vacant. The pressure on parents to make “champions” out of our children is at an all-time high. Consequently, so are anxiety levels along with a myriad of other mental health disorders.

“It is hard to find groups of children outdoors at all, and, if you do find them, they are likely to be wearing uniforms and following the directions of coaches while their parents dutifully watch and cheer.” – Dr. Peter Gray (Read More)

As the people of sport, we need to remember that sport has evolved out of the human instinct to PLAY. Play is life-giving, so sport should be life-giving… right? Does your involvement in sports enhance your relationships and energize you toward a transcendent cause? Or does it drain you and your athletes down in an unhealthy way?

If it’s the latter, we want to help. There is a more excellent way. Our various 3D courses and resources are designed to help coaches establish a team culture that’s rooted in play and life-giving to all.

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