Attendance at your child's games and events

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Attendance at your child's games and events

One of the questions I get asked a lot is, "My kid is a soccer player and he's 10-years old and all the parents go to all the games. Is it important that I go to every practice, every game that my kid is in?" And it's such an extraordinary question to me because what are you modeling for your child when you sit in the back of the bleachers, usually on your iPhone or something for hours and hours every single weekend? I think what that does is to make adulthood look incredibly boring, like who would want to grow up to do that when your kid is actually running around having a good time? And it also says something about your life, that you have nothing more interesting or impressing to do than watch a bunch of 8 or 10-year olds kick a ball into a net. Sometimes I think about it like what would it be like to say something to my children like, "I'm really, really good at folding the laundry. So for the next six weeks we are going to just sit and watch me fold the laundry." I mean, it's absurd. And kids kind of expect that their parents are gonna be passive and watch their activities. I think what parents need to do is watch some of the time and get out with a girlfriend, have brunch with your husband, a get a little bit of a life of your own and not be so child-centric. It's a bad model for adulthood.

Watch Madeline Levine, PhD's video on Attendance at your child's games and events...


Expert Bio

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Madeline Levine, PhD

Psychologist & Author

Madeline Levine, PhD, is a psychologist with close to 30 years of experience as a clinician, consultant and educator. Her New York Times bestseller, The Price of Privilege, explores the reasons why teenagers from affluent families are experiencing epidemic rates of emotional problems.  Her book, Teach Your Children Well, outlines how our current narrow definition of success unnecessarily stresses academically talented kids and marginalizes many more whose talents and interests are less amenable to measurement. The development of skills needed to be successful in the 21st century- creativity, collaboration, innovation – are not easily developed in our competitive, fast-paced, high pressure world. Teach Your Children Well gives practical, research- based solutions to help parents return their families to healthier and saner versions of themselves.

Dr. Levine is also a co-founder of Challenge Success, a project born at the Stanford School of Education. Challenge Success believes that our increasingly competitive world has led to tremendous anxiety about our children’s’ futures and has resulted in a high pressure, myopic focus on grades, test scores and performance. This kind of pressure and narrow focus isn’t helping our kids become the resilient, capable, meaningful contributors we need in the 21st century. So every day, Challenge Success provides families and schools with the practical research-based tools they need to raise healthy, motivated kids, capable of reaching their full potential. We know that success is measured over the course of a lifetime, not at the end of the grading period.

Dr. Levine began her career as an elementary and junior high school teacher in the South Bronx of New York before moving to California and earning her degrees in psychology. She has had a large clinical practice with an emphasis on child and adolescent problems and parenting issues. Currently however, she spends most of her time crisscrossing the country speaking to parents, educators, students, and business leaders. Dr. Levine has taught Child Development classes to graduate students at the University of California Medical Center/ San Francisco. For many years, Dr. Levine has been a consultant to various schools, from preschool through High School, public as well as private, throughout the country. She has been featured on television programs from the Early Show to the Lehrer report, on NPR stations such as Diane Rheems in Washington and positively reviewed in publications from Scientific American to the Washington Post. She is sought out both nationally and internationally as an expert and keynote speaker. 

Dr. Levine and her husband of 35 years, Lee Schwartz, MD are the incredibly proud (and slightly relieved) parents of three newly minted and thriving sons.

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