Let them fall…

“Did you see this BS?”

That was the subject line of an email from my Dad…so I knew there was something good in the email to follow.

He shared an article from the NY Post and I saw the headline immediately: Everyone makes school’s cheer squad after parent complains 


To sum it up: a girl didn’t make the cheer squad. Her mom was very upset…went to complain and POOF! Her daughter is now on the squad. In fact, there will never be tryouts ever again…everyone will make the team automatically.

Cue eye-roll.

We are failing our children when we act like this.

We are teaching them that it’s okay not to work hard.

We are teaching them not to practice…because you’ll play anyway.

We are teaching them not to study…because you deserve an “A.”

We are teaching them not to be in the extra effort…because you will make the team.

We are teaching them if they don’t get enough playing time…don’t worry, Mommy will talk to the coach.

We all want the best for our children. We want them to succeed in the classroom, on the field, on the court, on the stage…you get the picture.  But, they’ll fail in life if we are constantly pulling on the puppet strings.

My dad was a boys basketball coach for YEARS. Before the season would start, he would have a parents meeting. He would say the same thing every year: “Once this season starts, your sons are mine. I’m the boss here. The second you come to me and complain that he’s not playing or you question my decisions, your son is benched. No questions asked.” My Dad stood by that. There were parents who hated him for that but guess what? All of his athletes RESPECTED him. They worked hard. They put in the extra effort.

I believe 100% what my Dad said…and that’s how my husband and I are with our children.

You want to make the team? You better work your butt off. If you don’t? Mom and dad aren’t going to chase down the coach and demand answers.

You didn’t get enough playing time? Maybe you need to rethink the effort you’re putting in.

You didn’t do well on a test? Maybe you need to study a little more.

Here is a list of everything our children are entitled to:


(Yep – nothing)

Rewards must come from hard work…not handouts.

I’m not trying to sound like I’m standing on a pulpit and telling other people how to parent. Lord knows I’m still learning.

But let’s be real here – the parents who fight their kids battles…who argue with the coach…who demand more playing time for little Susie…well, you’re the ones who are making it not fun anymore. You are the ones ruining youth sports. Sorry not sorry.

We don’t want our kids to fail.  But experiencing failure is what makes us great.

Let them fall.

They’ll get up.

And they’ll respect you for it later.


10 thoughts on “Let them fall…

  1. Absolutely true. I made a few of those mistakes myself when my kids were young. I learned!! Keep up the AWESOME work and tell your Dad thank you❣


  2. Omg I love this and your family just think we are doing it right!!!!! See u this weekend on the field


  3. This is so true. Too many kids think they are entitled to everything because their parents do NOT make them work for anything. This was very well put, as usual!


  4. How can kids be successful adults if their parents don’t let them fail? I wonder what will happen the first time “mommy” insists that her child’s boss gives them a raise or promotion? It hurts a parent to “parent,” to sit back and see your child learn these lessons but watching them grow into amazing adults is the reward, not the cheer leading squad.


  5. My son was on a youth soccer team this spring and they were winning every game. I was glad they finally lost because part of learning a sport is learning to lose. It is easy to be a good winner, but not a good loser.


  6. Thank you for speaking up! I am so sick of peace, love, and flowers tournaments where everyone wins. There is nothing to strive for. If its just a scrimmage tournament – announce it!


  7. Well said! I am in complete agreement. Kids need to learn to fail and move on. They also need to learn the meaning of hard work and achieving goals. Life is hard and the ones who learn to adapt and problem solve will come out on top. Love, respect and support your kids and they will do the same to you.


  8. You hit the nail on the head! If parents today don’t step out of the way and allow their kids to fail they’ll never learn to push harder to be more successful for the next time. This world was built from many trials of failures & success. The entitlement agenda is making our country more weak because of the fear of actually being successful & learning that success on their own. I as a mom have had to step back & let our kids fail making their own mistakes – even as much as it hurts it’s what’s necessary to help the child build character & learn the strategies that this life requires.


  9. I agree with the idea of teaching resilience through adversity to kids. However, there’s an important secondary story here: “Helicopter Mom’s Daughter Not So Special (or: How a High School Athletic Director Flipped the Script on Meddling.)” think about it: this mom thought her daughter was something special, but then her daughter didn’t deliver. So then Mom thought SHE was somehow special enough to warrant the “I’d like to speak to your manager” response, and complained. And instead of indulging a single student who didn’t earn their way in, the athletic director was all “you know what? You’re right. Not only is YOUR daughter special, EVERYONE is EQUALLY special. So along with allowing your special daughter to participate, we’re going to allow all of these equally special girls to join the squad.” Now every time Special Girl brags about being on the squad, someone will be there to remind her “well, everyone got on the squad that year, so…” IMO, this kind of knocks the wind right out of Helicopter Mom’s interfering…I’m SURE that’s not what she was hoping to accomplish.

    Anyway, my money is on Special Girl quitting halfway through the season. If she couldn’t earn her way on she probably won’t be able to hack it


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