Ski racing can feel like a movie. Depending on the day, it can feel like a comedy, a tragedy, an adventure, an epic journey and, on some particularly sad days, a horror show. (Usually not a fairy tale.)
With that in mind, the first thing to remember, as parents, is that this movie is not for all audiences and certainly not for the squeamish. The next thing we need to remember is that we are all the supporting cast. As unglamorous and unsung as they sound, supporting roles are among the toughest and most important. And I suspect the are the roles you never really get right.
There are many ways to screw up as a parent: being hard when you need to be soft; hovering when you should be out of sight; giving a pep talk when you should just be listening; reacting when you should be ignoring, and sometimes vice versa on all of the above. I’ve touched on so many of these in my brief career, and had my share of not-so-proud moments. Surely my kids are scarred for life in ways I won’t know for another 20 years.
But I do always remind myself that this is their movie and it’s about their dream. Keeping that in mind at all times helps me differentiate between Parental Guidance and Parental Control — between helping them achieve their dream versus defining it for them. If they are committed to their own dream, a lot of the complication about how to offer support goes away…
This is just a preview. Read “Racer Next” in its entirety in Issue 10 of the digital magazine here.