“Did you see this BS?”

That was the subject line of an email from my Dad…so I knew there was something good in the email to follow.

He shared an article from the NY Post and I saw the headline immediately: Everyone makes school’s cheer squad after parent complains 


To sum it up: a girl didn’t make the cheer squad. Her mom was very upset…went to complain and POOF! Her daughter is now on the squad. In fact, there will never be tryouts ever again…everyone will make the team automatically.

Cue eye-roll.

We are failing our children when we act like this.

We are teaching them that it’s okay not to work hard.

We are teaching them not to practice…because you’ll play anyway.

We are teaching them not to study…because you deserve an “A.”

We are teaching them not to be in the extra effort…because you will make the team.

We are teaching them if they don’t get enough playing time…don’t worry, Mommy will talk to the coach.

We all want the best for our children. We want them to succeed in the classroom, on the field, on the court, on the stage…you get the picture.  But, they’ll fail in life if we are constantly pulling on the puppet strings.

My dad was a boys basketball coach for YEARS. Before the season would start, he would have a parents meeting. He would say the same thing every year: “Once this season starts, your sons are mine. I’m the boss here. The second you come to me and complain that he’s not playing or you question my decisions, your son is benched. No questions asked.” My Dad stood by that. There were parents who hated him for that but guess what? All of his athletes RESPECTED him. They worked hard. They put in the extra effort.

I believe 100% what my Dad said…and that’s how my husband and I are with our children.

You want to make the team? You better work your butt off. If you don’t? Mom and dad aren’t going to chase down the coach and demand answers.

You didn’t get enough playing time? Maybe you need to rethink the effort you’re putting in.

You didn’t do well on a test? Maybe you need to study a little more.

Here is a list of everything our children are entitled to:


(Yep – nothing)

Rewards must come from hard work…not handouts.

I’m not trying to sound like I’m standing on a pulpit and telling other people how to parent. Lord knows I’m still learning.

But let’s be real here – the parents who fight their kids battles…who argue with the coach…who demand more playing time for little Susie…well, you’re the ones who are making it not fun anymore. You are the ones ruining youth sports. Sorry not sorry.

We don’t want our kids to fail.  But experiencing failure is what makes us great.

Let them fall.

They’ll get up.

And they’ll respect you for it later.