A brand new season of hockey is upon us, and the kids couldn’t be happier.
I hope they’re happy. I think most parents are, while recognizing the fact hockey is a game we take more seriously than religion in this country, settling into another season of cold rinks, hot coffee and the occasional laugh.
While the season progresses, it’s just as important for parents to develop into better people just like their children.
Well, why not?
Here are ten questions to keep in your mind as you watch the action unfold this season.
1. Does ice time matter?
I’m not here to answer these questions for you, this torment is completely self-induced. I’m just here to remind you to ask yourself this question at an appropriate time. So, not on the drive home after your son or daughter missed a couple shifts.
2. Who am I Here to Cheer For?
While this might seem obvious, if you put yourself in your child’s shoes then hockey gets a lot less stressful. You’re at the rink to cheer for your little guy or girl primarily. They’re at the rink to play for the team and for the coaches, and ultimately to contribute to a cause that’s greater than themselves.
3. What Does My Child Get in Return?
The money, the schedule, the energy - these are deposits in the bank of hockey. It’s ok to wonder what dividends will be paid as a result of your investment.
4. What Should My Child Get in Return?
Again, I’m not here to provide the answers, but if you’re spending money so your son or daughter can one day put you up in a swanky retirement home, then just imagine the look on your face when they bet it all on black at a casino in Vegas and everybody is left with nothing. It’s happened before.
5. Are These People My Friends?
You’re going to spend a lot of time with your team’s parent group. Some people gravitate to those of a like-mind, which is fine, just make sure you’re surrounded with people who grant you energy rather than drain it.
6. Is The Coach Out To Get Me?
Seriously, ask yourself this question out loud. And soon, please. And no I don’t want to hear the answer.
7. Is Hockey About Today or Tomorrow?
We all want to get better at whatever it is we choose to spend on our time on, but hockey is turning into a game that’s constantly about rushing to the next level. Some kids develop quicker than others, and it’s impossible to know what’s going to happen in the end. So please, I’m asking you, enjoy your child’s hockey experience as it unfolds.
8. Am I An Angry Person?
It can be tough to admit, but anger takes on many forms, and it can be a literal pain in the neck. Once you give in to the rage you can start to find other outlets for it that don’t involve yelling at 12 year-old referees or your own child.
9. Am I a Happy Person?
The absence of anger doesn’t automatically equate to happiness. Your child might be happy playing hockey, but if you’re not doing enough to create happiness in your own life, that’s when the person from question 8 inevitably shows up.
10. Who’s Wearing the Skates?
You? Or your child? Who goes out and competes for their teammates? Who puts his body on the line in order to #playfortheshirt? Does their ability on the ice have anything to do with your abilities as a parent? It’s tough to separate your life from your child’s when you’re so emotionally invested, but as you might already be aware, most kids, whether they play hockey or not, stop listening to their parents at some point. It’s their life, it’s their “career”, so support them while letting them learn from the ups and downs of another season.
And don’t worry, you don’t need to know all the answers just yet.