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As parents, we have all been there. Sometimes it is gradual and you see it coming. Sometimes it happens so suddenly that it makes you stop in your tracks. What am I talking about? The moment that you realize that you are no longer the smartest person in the world to your child and the things that you say no longer carry the same weight as they did before. When they were young, my kids listened to me. I explained why I didn’t let them drink soft drinks or eat junk food on a regular basis (only as a special treat). They knew that eating a big meal too close to a sporting event was a bad idea. They would eat and drink well because I told them that if they wanted to play well, they had to follow my Nutrition Edge Game Plan. They had fun playing sports and were successful athletes.
Then, it happened. They reached an age when they thought that they knew better. They thought that they could play well under any circumstances (ah, the confidence of youth!). They had their own money and they were old enough to go off with their friends for snacks and meals. They strayed from what they had been shown as the right way to prepare for a game or practice. They took their good performances for granted. As hard as it was, I bit my tongue (although they would tell you that I wasn’t too successful at that!). My kids soon realized that poor nutrition and hydration made it harder for them to play and compete as well as they could. They had a lot less fun as a result. There is no better teacher than practical experience, and we can quickly learn from our mistakes.
We can’t force our kids listen to us once they reach a certain age, but if we have given them the right tools and have led by example, they will usually make good decisions if performing well is important to them.
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