Your dreams shouldn't cost your integrity simply means that you should never do anything dishonest or back handed to push your child's hockey career forward. As I said in my last article, "I will always believe in advocating for your kids, as parents, that's what we are supposed to do." I think it's important to advocate for our children when we don't feel they are ready to advocate for themselves.
This is especially true if it's a safety issue or if we feel the situation requires adult input. I think the goal is always to raise strong, resilient people who will be able to manage life and all that it has to offer as they move forward. I strongly believe that our kids need great mentors in their life to help them go out into the world and succeed. Paul Carson said it best when he said, "It isn't an automatic that kids develop great character through sport unless they have great role models through sport."
I am embarrassed to say that there are moments in our hockey journey when I spoke on my son't behalf for the wrong reasons. I certainly had moments when I wasn't a great role model. I admit that because I can't emphasize enough that I didn't write this book and create these lessons because I did everything right. I created these lessons because I had much to learn and wanted to share my mistakes with other hockey parents so they wouldn't follow in my footsteps.
The lesson, "Your dreams shouldn't cost your integrity" comes from a story in the book when my son was facing surgery in his draft year. The recovery would keep him out of the game for at least six (6) weeks. He was upset by the news and as parents, we felt completely helpless and wanted to figure out a way to help him. I began by trying to call the doctor many times to see if there was anything we could do to rush the surgery, but I never heard back. Of course I never heard back; it was not life threatening and I'm sure he knew he was dealing with a crazy hockey mom. Unfortunately when I did finally get a chance to talk to this doctor it wasn't in his office. Our kids went to the same school so I ended up cornering him at a school event while he was trying to enjoy an awards ceremony. I approached him and started talking to him about surgery in the middle of the gym and he proceeded to get away from me as quickly as he could. I realized in that moment that I was so caught up in getting my child back on the ice that I let my dreams for my child cost my integrity. Here is an excerpt from that story in lesson nine (9). "I had officially lost it. I was at an awards night, cornering a doctor so I could try and get my son into surgery, just so he could get back on the ice faster. I was that parent, oh no....I was that parent."
I think we all have those moments and it's not because we are bad parents. It's because we love our kids so much and we only was what's best for them. We have to remember that we don't ever want to help so much that we manipulate the outcome to get what we want and lose our integrity in the process.
- Written by Allyson Tufts