I rather adore Joe Maddon, the manager of the Chicago Cubs and leader who has guided the Cubs to their first World Series appearance since 1948. Last year I shared quotes from Maddon that applied to parenting. With the team’s success this year, he has offered up even more nuggets of wisdom this season that may be about baseball, but they also apply to parenting.
1. “Try not to suck.”
This was Maddon’s advice to Javier Baez last year and the players and fans have embraced it this year, too. It’s funny, and your kids will likely laugh, but there’s also a lot of wisdom in it.
He’s saying his players don’t have to do it all, nor do they have be perfect.
He’s also saying that you have to try and you want to do things right. When they won the National League Championship, Maddon said, “We did not suck!”
Kids feel a lot of pressure to get things just right. It takes a whole lot of pressure off, and may lighten the mood. It’s a fun way of saying “do your best.”
2. “Getting to the World Series is a big accomplishment. Of course, winning it would be even greater than that. But I still believe that, in seasons to come, people are going to believe more easily now. They’re not going to look for the next shoe to drop. They’ll believe that something good is going to occur, as opposed to something bad.”
With kids, it feels like we’re saying “don’t do this” a lot. But focusing on the positive can go a long way. Our kids want to hear that we trust them to make good choices, to do the right thing, to choose kind.
Make it clear to your teens and tweens that you know they are capable of doing good things. When you believe in them, they’ll believe in themselves more easily, too.
3. “Play the same game regardless of the date on the calendar.”
Maddon said this in the post-game interview, and I made my teen watch it twice. I love this on a few levels. It reminded me of “begin as you intend to go on.” Start out strong and stay strong. For my teen, that means don’t wait until the night before finals to panic.
When you’ve been working hard all along, the pressure won’t get to you as much. Whether that’s sports or a performance or a class, approach it as you always have. Don’t stress, just do what you know works.
4. “I can’t get over the top and take a trip to negative town right now just because we’ve had two tough days.”
Maddon said this after the Cubs were shut out in Games 2 and 3 of the National League Championship Series. The City of Chicago may have been nervous, but Maddon believed in his guys.
I know that sometimes as a parent, I may take a trip to negative town before departure is warranted. All of us – baseball players, parents, and kids – have a rough few days on occasion.
Your kids may drive you crazy one day or even one week, but don’t panic. Chances are they are still good kids.
Stay the course, keep the faith, stay positive and give things time to work out.
And of course, Go Cubs Go!
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Filed under: Parenting