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It's Fine to be OK With Kids Who are Just OK

By Donna Kostiew

I was at a basketball game this past weekend that my friend's son was playing in. It was a "young" team, 7- to 8-year-olds, and quite honestly it was a comedy of sorts. We've all been to games like these, where the players oftentimes don't know which way is up, no matter what the sport ... and it's pretty predictable how the parents and coaches will behave. Loving, encouraging, patient, and helpful ... even to the opposing team. There are a lot of laughs, a lot of "which one is yours," and a lot of high-fives once the game is over.

So, at what point does that dynamic change? What age, what level of play, determines when competition goes from healthy and encouraging to cut-throat and down-right serious? The pressures that so many of our children face every day are staggering, and it doesn’t stop with sports. It also includes academics, music, theater, work … the list can go on and on and for many of our children, is never-ending. The stress and burdens that they carry on their shoulders week to week can be seen in homes and schools across the nation.

The Negative Effects of Competition and Pressure

Kids face many of the symptoms adults face from the pressures of their work lives:

  • High anxiety levels
  • Unhealthy amounts of stress
  • Irritability, anger, and isolation issues
  • Substance abuse

So perhaps instead of playing a part in encouraging this type of pressure, we do something radically different. What if we were to tell our kids/students that it is also OK, and perfectly normal I might add, to simply be “just OK” with some of the things in their life?

Healthy Messages

We can let them know:

  • That they don’t need to do it all
  • That we don’t expect them to make it to the Olympics
  • That even though they are a straight “A” student, receiving that “B” isn’t the end of the world
  • That they can try out for the lead role in the next play
  • That they can skip their chores for the day because they offered to stay late at work 
  • That yes, even though they only played on the field for 10 minutes, we were still glad to be there …
  • That we are fine with all of it

It’s not only exhausting and stressful for our children to have so much pressure placed upon them; it’s also unhealthy and more than likely impossible to manage.

So let’s slow down, take a minute to appreciate where our children are at in their lives, and celebrate that they are doing OK, and that's just fine by us!

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Cumming, Ga.

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