“Ten things to think about before you say that your child is too good to be in a group with Sally ” by Sarah Reis, MEd.

Ten things to think about before you say that your child is too good to be in a group with Sally.

1- In the average adult life people do not go walking around saying they are too good to work with another adult. “I am a much better graphic designer than you, I shouldn’t even be working in the same building as you.” This doesn’t happen, because it’s ridiculous, so why then is it okay for you to have an opinion about whom your child shares a dance stage, or a soccer field, or a hockey rink with?

2- One of the key words we are talking about here is CHILD, as in a young flourishing individual whom needs direction and role models to help shape their personal and moral philosophies. There is a strong need for parents to teach compassion and patience in their children, they are a large factor in the personal development of their child. What message about tolerance and leadership are you conveying to your kids when you say that they are too good to have Sally in their group? Don’t turn around and expect a world of equality, and fairness if on the fundamental level you think it’s okay to isolate Sally.

3- Chances are you are not a coach/teacher of the activity in review. Do you question the work of your dentist? Probably not, you probably just trust that your dentist has the skills to make good decisions about your teeth because that is what you are paying them to do. Just like you should trust your coach/teacher has the skills to make good decisions about what is necessary for the groups they are teaching.

4- Have you ever been in a group of any kind where the skill level for a task was absolutely perfectly even? No. Because every human being is different. Each person has different strengths and experiences to offer. Even at the highest levels of cognitive acquisition groups in university research are not evenly matched, there will always be different strengths and weaknesses. In the rare case of having a group closely matched in physical skill, there will be differences in emotional skills, sportsmanship, work ethic, and leadership. People have roles on teams outside of physical contributions. These roles are incredibly important. Sally is probably a better leader than your child.

5- Even if you are spending a lot of money on this hobby it is still a recreational hobby until you are being paid to do it, at which point it is a professional hobby. Recreational hobbies exist for the enjoyment, social and physical development of individuals. I would suggest then that you should keep your drama out of the hobby as it is tainting the very purpose of why you are in the hobby in the first place.

6- Only 1-2 % of individuals will take their recreational hobby and become a professional paid for doing it. Please refer back to number five.

7- Let’s return to trusting your dentist. Your coach, being a professional, will find ways to fill people into the best-fit role for contributing to a team. If the coach is a choreographer they will use their artistry to design their dancers efficiently, so that strengths are highlighted. If someone becomes unfit for a team the coach will remove him or her. If someone falls below a standard of the team the coach will nurture him or her back to that place. The coach will make serious and continuous choices about roles and contributions of their team members who will collectively rise together.

8- “You are only as good as your weakest player” is not the right attitude, because attitude is everything. The weakest physical player usually has the most heart, dedication and determination. Sally is there to teach your child something, not the other way around.

9- Sometimes you are on top, sometimes you are on the bottom. This cycle will happen for your entire life. In this particular situation, your child is at the top of the group and Sally is on the bottom. Let’s not forget that that means, your child is close to moving up to the next level, where they will likely be at the bottom of the next team. So…. Karma is funny like that isn’t it? Reverse this situation, your child is at the bottom and Sally is on top. How would you feel if your child was being isolated and judged by other parents?

10- Living in a country filled with opportunity, natural resources, wealth, health safety and prosperity…Meanwhile children around the world are suffering……At what point in the evolution of our society did it become necessary for me to even write a report about not judging the other children on your kids’ recreational team? Yeah, let’s take some time to think about that one. Priorities seem a little off here.