How to make sure your child suffers from burnout and fails to become a well-rounded person.
1. Find an area in which they excel and make them practice it for prolonged periods of time each day, starting as young as possible.
2. Only make time for one activity, letting your child know they don’t have time to play another sport or participate in another activity because they are so gifted in this one “special” activity.
3. Focus on drills and skills, creativity and fun should always come second.
4. Let the coaches or teachers know how gifted your child is, and to make sure they see things the same way you do, make sure you attend every practice and every game and give your opinion on how your child is developing.
5. Find a really intense coach or teacher and agree to put the special activity above all other things, especially other sports or music lessons. Make sure you have this intense coach or teacher from the time your child is 8 years old.
6. Focus on winning at a young age. After all, you can’t be a future Olympian if you didn’t win the 8 year old girls travel soccer league.
7. Talk excessively on the sideline about how talented your child is at the activity. It is really important that all the other parents know about your child’s talents. This builds hype and will make your kid buy into their star potential.
8. Talk excessively on the sideline about all the opportunities available for your child. If she was invited to play on a special team, let everyone know about it and make them all feel that if they aren’t doing it too, their child must be a loser with no talent.
9. Ignore that children mature at widely different ages. If your child is a 5 foot tall 10 year old, ignore that their success is largely related to their size. Keep telling yourself that they will continue growing at that pace, and will likely be the first 7 foot 300 pound person in your family.
11. Make sure you buy all the best equipment. This equipment will emphasize to your child how important the activity is, and make them look better than all the other kids.
12. Starting when your child is very young (no later than age 8 or 9), be willing to pay for extra training sessions and the best coaches. If you have to take a second job to afford this, it’s worth it.
13. If your child is athletic, let them know music is for sissies. If they are musical, let them know sports are for meatheads. Under no condition should a child be developed in both areas.
14. Keep emphasizing that you are doing all this because your kid will get a scholarship. Tell your kid about the scholarship and make them feel their worth is directly related to their ability to achieve said scholarship. Ignore the very small number of scholarships actually available, because your kid is special.
Lest you think I’m a lazy parent, please know that I do consider myself somewhat of a “tiger mom.” I believe in hard work for kids, but in proper proportions and always with an emphasis on character over results.