Is your parenting style stifling your child’s sporting success?


Is your parenting style stifling your child’s sporting success?

Is your parenting style stifling your child’s sporting success?

Reading time: about a minute

Yes, according to an article published on The Wall Street Journal online last year (March, 2015), if you are a hyper-involved parent. The WSJ reported the results of an American study, published in the Journal of Preventative Medicine, which found that ‘hyper-parenting’ – being overly-involved in every element of your child’s life, including planning and scheduling playdates, extra murals and big outings, was turning children into couch potatoes. The study claims that being overly involved in your child’s academic, sports and social lives meant that your child was less likely to take part in extramural activities or sport, less likely to play outdoors, go for a walk or ride their bikes.

Essentially children, whose parents planned, scheduled, attended and kept track of a child’s every move resulted in children who preferred not to take part or get active, but to sit at home.

Of course, as with any academic study, there were a number of caveats, such as only the oldest child of the family was interviewed, based on a small US sample, but it did get us here at Parental Instinct thinking. What kind of parents are we? What is our parenting style? What does it mean for our children?

Admittedly, some people never even think of parenting as an individual style, or something that you can change. Can our parenting-styles, with the obvious exception of neglect and abuse, really have a significant impact on our children’s long-term development and success? Are we that powerful and omnipotent? Or are the child’s own, personal characteristics more pervasive? And when does this start to matter? This study dealt with school-age children but even those of us with babies and toddlers understand the pressure to take part in baby massage classes, Clamber Club, Moms and Babes or Tots, infant swimming lessons or baby gym. What do you think?

Too much parenting, not enough exercise?

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.