Monday, April 4, 2011

The Over-Achieving Parent

Recently, I heard a story from a friend about an over-achieving "soccer mom." When it was this mom's turn to make snacks for her kindergarten-aged daughter's soccer team, she adorned each snack with a personalized, laminated motivational tag. The tags had cute little illustrations of soccer players on them and said things like, "Run fast!" and "Kick the ball in the goal! Yes You Can!"

As a mom who works full-time, I marveled at the amount of work and time that must have gone into these little tags. I wondered - who was she really doing this for? Was she just trying to show up the other parents, or did she genuinely enjoy doing something nice and fun for her child and her teammates? And did the kids care one way or another if they had these special little tags on their soccer snacks? Did the tags make a difference in how the children played that particular game, or how they felt about their performance?

It got me the children of parents who "go the extra mile" actually end up being more successful, happier or generally better off than those of parents who just don't do this type of thing? Does it really benefit our children if we are over-achieving parents?