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Parents, Teams, and Olympians

I sometimes ask people I work with if they belong to a team. Inevitably, I get a response about weekend floor hockey at the neighborhood gym, the spontaneous basketball tournament, or the company-sponsored softball league.

I have yet to hear someone say he or she thinks of the family as a team, when it may be the best and most important team, and they have been members for a long time. Our family is usually the most important team in our life.

Team players often come from families that play together – in many ways.

During the Olympic Games in Sochi, media interviews with athletes seemed to have a common theme. Family support, especially among the young athletes, was the foundation of their achievements. Gold, silver, bronze, or no medal at all, young athletes acknowledged their parents’ support and sacrifices that helped them reach the Olympic level in the field of their choice.

The Olympics are for the young. Training, equipment, and travel cost money, start early, and require dedication, not only from the child but also from the parent.

Parents dedicate their lives to their children. Nothing is too much to make sure their every need is met. Love is in great supply. We will go without to provide what they need, and even what they want.

Approaching parenthood as a team effort, much like coaching, with some reasonable rules, and specific goals shared with the children could make life even more fun. We may or may not raise kids who become Olympians, but we will raise happy, confident kids, who will have a better chance at making it in life.

My sense is that we will also make a more engaged family, and a happy healthy marriage to boot. It’s sure worth the effort.

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