If your family is anything like mine, you have about 5 free nights each month. Between baseball, softball, volleyball, chorus, band concerts, and every other competition or event you can think of, we’re constantly going.
But we all go together and cheer each other on. We show up for each other.
When we can, that is. The only time we split up is when there is more than one event occurring at the exact same time. But when that happens, we usually split fairly evenly and show up for each other. And this is an everyday family ritual your family should probably try.
Why Families Should Support Each Other’s Activities
I don’t mean to sound preachy, guys, but your family should be supporting one another. This means that parents should be attending the children’s games, plays, recitals, and competitions together, and making the siblings come to.
I’ve seen what happens when they don’t. Here’s why you should go to all of your kids’ games or events:
It Builds Confidence
As a youth sports coach for almost 20 years, I’ve seen kids who have their parents’ support and those who don’t. The kids who know their mothers or fathers are in the stands perform better (usually). They’re more confident and more excited to be there, and they want to show their families what they’ve done.
The kids who don’t know if mom or dad is making their event, or is just getting dropped off by their babysitter, don’t have that confidence. They’re typically shy, quiet, and afraid to take a risk. They don’t want to make a mistake or look silly, because they feel alone.
But when their families are present, they know they have someone who cares about them in the stands. If they do something great, they’ll have someone to celebrate with. If they really screw up, they know someone who will love them anyway is out there waiting to take them home.
They Know They Matter
When you choose your kids’ games or events over work or your own recreational activities, you’re showing them they matter to you. They’ll look for you in the crowd, make eye contact, and breathe a sigh of relief. They know that at that moment, they’re the most important thing in the world to you. And they love that.
On the other hand, if you’re choosing to miss their bake sale or ceremony for Sunday football, for a team you don’t even own, you’re sending a message that the things they do aren’t important. I get that you might need a break every now and then, but choosing to get a pedicure instead of being at their spelling bee is bullshit. It doesn’t matter if the other parent is there or not. You should be there.
They Can Lead Their Siblings (or connect with them)
Argue as they may, it matters that siblings attend each other’s events, as well. Older siblings like to look like the big shot in front of their younger siblings, and the younger siblings like the older ones to see them compete or perform. They’ll get a chance to be leaders or connect with their brothers or sisters, and this helps build bonds that last a lifetime
They Have Someone They Can Rely On
Knowing that someone will be there for you no matter what is one of the best gifts you can give a child. They’ll go through life willing to take more risks, putting themselves out there, and really trying to make an impact because they know that you were always there for them.
If they make a mistake, you’ve got them. If they embarrass themselves, you’ll be there. If they win, strike gold, or get that promotion, you’ll celebrate with them. They’ll remember.
Is It Always Possible? No..
Truthfully, it’s not always possible. You can get stuck at work or something can come up. When this happens, make sure you talk to your kids about why you weren’t able to attend their event. They’ll notice, and that wears on a kid. Address it, apologize, and make it up to them. They’ll love you (and themselves) for it.