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Developing Responsible Hockey Players

By Aaron Paitich, Touchpoint Media, 08/20/13, 8:00AM CDT


Now, more than ever, parents are hearing their kids say “Give me this,” “Give me that” and “I want more.” The sense of entitlement is at all-time high, on and off the ice. That’s neither the best way for a child to grow and develop, nor the easiest task for parents to manage. How do we raise more responsible young hockey players rather than entitled kids?

Here are some examples of what entitled and responsible hockey players do differently:

Entitled hockey players complain about why they’re not on the power play. Responsible hockey players will work harder to try and earn their spot.

Entitled hockey players will demand a new stick. Responsible hockey players will ask respectfully and work for it.

Entitled hockey players will assume they’ll make a certain team. Responsible hockey players will set expectations high and work hard to attain their goals.

Entitled hockey players make excuses for not playing well or making mistakes. Responsible hockey players learn from their mistakes and hold themselves accountable.

Entitled hockey players blame the officials. Responsible hockey players battle through adversity.

Entitled hockey players give up when the going gets tough and the team falls behind. Responsible hockey players rally teammates together and show perseverance, no matter what the score is or how much time is left.

Entitled hockey players believe they don’t have to do what the coach tells them. Responsible hockey players listen attentively and work within the team’s philosophy and rules established by the coaching staff.

Entitled hockey players let their parents handle any and all problems hockey-related. Responsible hockey players learn how to solve problems and conflicts on their own.

Entitled hockey players care only about themselves and their statistics. Responsible hockey players invest themselves into the development, well-being and improvement of the team.

Entitled hockey players show up when they want to. Responsible hockey players are on time.

How can you ensure your child grows up to be a responsible adult – and hockey player – rather than an entitled one? Here are some tips from the Center for Parenting Education:

  • Hold them accountable. Make sure they find out there are consequences for their actions, both positive and negative.
  • Assign chores. This helps foster responsibility, which does wonders for a child’s self-esteem. They may not be thrilled with some of your requests, especially at first, but it will be beneficial in the long run.
  • Resist the urge to do too much for your kids. They must learn to figure things out and solve problems on their own. Sometimes that means they will fail. Failure is a part of life and key to eventual success and self-betterment.

James Lehman, former child behavioral therapist and contributor to Empowering Parents, has some other tips for parents to avoid raising entitled children:

  • Clearly tell them the game has changed. They won’t be receiving everything they want without showing some responsibility and accountability.
  • Set your own limits on how much you give to your children. Having your own guidelines makes it easier to stay consistent.
  • Make them work for money, as opposed to just giving them an allowance. They will experience what it’s like to earn money as opposed to just receiving it.

These are lessons that will not only help your child on the ice, but also in the classroom, in their social development and eventually in the workforce and in raising families of their own one day.

How do you instill responsibility in your children? Tell us on Facebook or Tweet us at @MinnHockey.

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