My eldest son is a talented athlete, and is currently training to be a Decathlete (athletics track and field – remember Daley Thompson? Or you’ve probably heard of Jess Ennis-Hill? Women do 7 events, and men do 10 events). Two years ago he was selected by his county to take part in the Talent Inspiration Programme, as part of the national School Games event.
As part of the 3 day event, parents were invited to attend a workshop, led by Olympian Miriam Luke, who is also now a Mum of 2. She was fabulous, and helped us understand what the young people had been discovering during their time on the programme – namely, that school work is more important than sport, and even though they may be top achievers in their teens, not many young people will go on and be top achievers in that sport in their adult life. [Obviously all sports are different, with elite gymasts being a lot younger, but you get the idea]. She herself didn’t take up her sport until University.
At the time, I took it all in, and as a family we learnt a lot, and have continued to maintain a balanced life and outlook on life.
Today it struck me, as a lot of children return to school, that these principles should be what all parents should be striving for anyway, isn’t it? Why are parents of other children, who aren’t labelled gifted and talented, not given this same advice on how to best help our young people? Surely, if we re-wrote this as,
The greatest gift you can give your child is to give them your support, help them take responsibility, keep their life in balance and support their success.
The greatest gift you can give your child
Would anyone argue with having a balanced life?
Would anyone argue with helping our young people take responsibility?
Is there anytime we wouldn’t celebrate their success?
I don’t think so. I think this should be a mantra for all parents to take on at the start of this new school year.
Is this the greatest gift you can give to your child?