Are You Keeping Score?
Are you keeping score? I have had several conversations with parents over the phone this week, talking about their child, and looking to get started in the kid’s karate program. It was interesting to find that none of the parents that I spoke with were keeping score.
Every parent is worried about their child’s future, but they aren’t keeping score as to what is happening in their child’s life to make sure that they are designing the future that is going to be best for their child. Every time your child quits an activity, that would be a point towards negative fear or using that quit muscle every time your child experiences failure, that’s going to be negative and or count as a point.
Every time they experience these types of negative things, they start to stack one on top of the other, and if you don’t have any positive points, that’s when you start to really get concerned about your child. What we are looking for is to be able to create situations in which your child develops positive points in order to balance out those negative points. Nobody’s life is going to be all positive and nobody’s life should be all negative, but we are noticing that parents aren’t keeping an active watch on that process. And that just time goes by. Suddenly it’s been a couple of years and your child’s experienced negative, negative, negative, and they have now developed some fear and anxiety. A parent was just talking about how worried she was that her child is just so anxious and just cries all the time for just about any reason at all, and she doesn’t know why or how to help her.
We started talking about, what’s been going on and what’s happening and negative, negative. She didn’t do this. She didn’t like this. She’s afraid to try it. I think she’s afraid to fail at anything. She is just living in fear and we don’t want kids to live in fear. We want them to be creative and be successful. So being nervous is one thing. But being fearful to the point where you’re not taking action is not healthy.
You want to make sure that you start keeping score for your child. What is your child’s score today? You can set up the system, however you want. It doesn’t matter how you do it. You just want to make sure that you are doing it. Your child experienced a success today, give them a point.
You can do one point for positive and then another point for negative and then add them up. Or you could do a plus one minus one, whatever works for you. The system itself doesn’t matter. Doing it is what matters because I almost guarantee you will see you are not creating enough positive experiences. I hear about this all the time. My child quit soccer and then they quit the chess club and then they quit and then they quit, and then they quit – so many negative points being earned.
Parents with the best of intentions, keep saying,
“Well, I want my child to experience everything so they can find out what they like.”
I get what you’re trying to do, but you’re also allowing them to quit and quit and quit. and just like our muscles, the quit muscle gets stronger.
A scientific study showed that once you quit an activity, you’re 88% more likely to quit the next activity, 88%. So if your child constantly quits and keeps moving from one thing to another, they are going to miss out on a lot of good, healthy skills, like commitment, dedication, focus, and concentration. whatever the thing is, they’re going to miss out on those skills.
Unfortunately, they are going to learn,
“I don’t have to stick with it if I don’t like it. If I don’t love it, then I don’t have to do it.”
Here is where the problem comes in. What about a job? What about the relationships as they get older? Well, I don’t like this relationship now, it’s not perfect, so I’m out.
They’re never going to be able to have a healthy relationship if they keep quitting when things get bad.
This one thing is going to serve them a whole lot better, but nobody is looking that far forwards. That is something that I do on a regular basis. I picture a child’s future and make sure that we’re looking for those positive points and make sure that you’re looking for the best thing for your child and not just making sure they’re happy today. Being happy is important. Being happy today in the short term is not the ultimate goal.
So find those wins, create those situations in which they are going to have positive results, You want to make sure that you are keeping score for your child to make sure that they are developing in a positive way.
Otherwise, they are going to be in for a lifetime of regret, remorse, disappointment, and sadness. And I absolutely hate to think about any child growing up that way. It is my job and my mission to help make kids successful and as happy as possible with the best skills.