This is a really poignant video looking at the car journey home after a training session. Many parents and children struggle with this part of the sporting experience and I include myself in that with my own children although I have managed to change my approach in recent times.
The car ride home is when the child just wants to quietly let the game sink in – whether a win or a loss.
They know if they’ve played well or badly. You don’t need to tell them.
It is their game and it is their invitation for you to be part of it.
It is not easy for a parent but we must remember that the sole reason that our children play sport and will stay involved in sports is fun.
If after watching this you still feel the need to talk to your child after a game then perhaps you could ask them some questions that allow the child to reflect on the game/session that they have just been involved in.
What were the best bits of the game for you today? What did you think you did well? Was there anything that you were not happy with? What do you think you may need to work on to improve? Who was your best team mate?
This at least allows you both to have a conversation, allows the conversation to be led by the child and guided by you. Just as importantly, if your child has let you into the conversation it does not mean that you have to impart all of your knowledge on to them and get it all off your chest. You may have to restrain yourself on occasions and it is certainly not easy.
Perhaps we all should take a step back, be proud of what our children do and simply say to them ‘I loved watching you play’ and see where the conversation leads us…..