Telling their children to be themselves…
Don’t worry son…be your “SELF”.
What is the SELF?
Is there a real self within?
Are we all born with a blank canvas waiting to be imprinted by culture, society and our parents?
One of the greatest tug of wars between philosophy and psychologists- to some extent theologists- is that of SELF…who are we?
If you talk to behaviourists and their school of thinking, they believe children are a clean canvas waiting to become engineers, lawyers, doctors and even professional soccer players…it all depends on what the parents want.
They believe human development and expression is a matter of learning, social programming and environmental conditioning.
I used to believe the same philosophy until I had my own child and read the biography of Abraham Maslow (1988)
“Man is ultimately not moulded or shaped…the environment does not give him potentialities and capacities; he has them in embryonic form, just exactly as he has embryonic arms and legs. And creativeness, spontaneity, selfhood, authenticity, caring for others, being able to love, yearning for truth are embryonic potentialities belonging to his species membership just as much as are his arms and legs, brains and eyes.”
As children, we look up and respect authority. After all, we’re young and helpless…heck…we can’t even speak.
We have no ability to defend ourselves so we look outside for support, direction, learning and instructions. We look to reality to discover how things are, function and coexist.
As we grow older and develop, we take some of that authority back and start to think for ourselves…we start to defend ourselves…we take responsibility for ourselves. Instead of regurgitating stuff that has simply been passed down from generations to generations.
We start to create our own sense of self…
We accept our rights to decide and to speak up when things are a miss…
This obviously takes time and life experience. It’s easy to blurt out advice and instructions to kids. But before you do, consider this…
Are you being yourself?
Have you taken your authority back?
Do you really live in reality or are you living in your head?
As humans we do not have instincts like animals but we do have impulses. We have the little voice inside our head that tells us when something doesn’t feel right…when something goes against our beliefs.
But our inner voice is soft…sometimes weak…and if you listen to society you might be a little mad.
In fact…the inner voice is easily drowned out by the voice of religion, education, culture, media and even our parents.
Most parents live a life that’s empty on the inside…because they focus on what society wants…what the media says and what’s in fashion.
We live by clocks, schedules, laws, rules and what the friggin neighbour might think if we decided to break free from the norm.
There’s a force in soccer –and in life- that resists progress and development…denies any chance of discovering SELF.
That force is culture.
Not only soccer culture but also the culture we grew up in and the values that have been cultivated by our parents, teachers and to some extent coaches. If we conform blindly to family, religion, school and the media we destroy our individuality and avoid being authentic. We become slaves to the system, which inevitably makes us less human.
When we neglect our feelings and what’s going on internally we become lost in the law of the jungle. We become clones…marching to the same beat.
So how do we escape the norm and allow our children to actualise their highest SELF? (Highest self because I hate using the word “potential”- potential simply means haven’t made it yet)
How do we –parents- create a soccer culture that will breed superstars not only in soccer but also in life?
Discover your real self. If you think you’re doing something wrong or losing patience with your child, chancers are, you are. Listen to that little voice that clearly signals from your heart.
We often lose this awareness because we –parents- insist in knowing it all and confusing the kids. Kids then become confused…then they conform to get along and to stay out of trouble. But what happens when this conformity doesn’t serve you or your child? What happens if the conformity is blind and toxic and we end up losing the beauty in our individuality?
Do it your Way
You are the boss…
You are the wolf…
Choose your own way that suits you and your child. Forget about the norm and what the other parents are doing…
When you find it, when you feel it and when you sense it…do it…listen to your little voice.
Without the willingness…love and determination to act on the behalf of your little voice, who will? Who will love your child more than you?
Choose your own responses…do not look left or right to find the solution…look within.
Conformity to the coach, club or even culture gives your power away. It means that someone else will write your soccer script.
Your inner voice is soft…very soft.
If you do not pay attention you will miss it. You need to take the time to listen to your inner voice and to allow your child to do the same. You both need time to reflect.
Finding yourself is a lifelong adventure.
Being yourself is not a given and requires trial and error. It requires listening to your heart. The adventure of becoming “you” should always supersede the need to play soccer.
So next time you ask your child to behave, relax or to listen…careful what you wish for!
The world is full of heartless clones that blindly conform.
We need a revolution…
We need love based soccer.
Don’t say anything…
Show them love.
“May the winds of destiny blow you to the stars”