Feedback Factor: How The Feedback Our Kid’s Receive Shapes Their Destiny
“It’s not the feedback you receive, it’s your response, that determines your destiny.”- Coach Watts
As a parent I believe the most critical aspect of raising healthy, happy and successful children is being mindful about the feedback they are receiving. In this 5-part series, I will be examining how we as parents can better understand and help our children deal with positive and negative feedback from us as parents, from their peers, authority figures and from social media.
Before I continue, I want to be clear that I am in no way an expert on the subject, but I do have a degree in sociology, am a parent of two teenagers who love sports, family, and their cell phones. I’m also a coach that has worked with thousands of families over the past two decades helping many of our youth go on to accomplish extraordinary feats. I have experienced the highs of seeing kids I have worked with receive Masters degrees from Ivy league Universities, win conference Players of the Year Honors, and go on to have successful professional careers on and off the court. I have also seen the lows of witnessing kids go to jail, being killed in the streets, and even taking there own lives. These highs and lows seem to be polar opposites of each other, but in truth, they are two sides of the same coin that has been flipped. Each side is a different way you could handle the feedback the world is giving you.
Feedback is essential to human life. Before we are old enough to understand language we look at non-verbal feedback like facial expression and tone of voice to determine our parents approval, disapproval, joy, and fear. As we begin to learn and use language, words carry an immense amount of power and plant seeds a belief or lack of belief in ourselves and others.
Sports is a playing field of immediate feedback, the can be extremely powerful in a positive or negative sense. The praise of your peers could undermine the constructive criticism of a coach. The trash talk from an opponent could damage your confidence in your own abilities. A single bad play could make you become frustrated while a single good one could make you overconfident in yourself and set yourself up for failure the next possession.
The key for us as parents is to be able to understand as best we can the feedback our kids are receiving, where it is coming from and patiently help them frame that feedback in a way that can truly help them grow. Please stay tuned to the Watts blog as we delve deep into this subject over the next four issues and join in on the conversation so we can all learn together the best ways to help the youth of our community grow into the successful leaders of tomorrow.