By Paul Coughlin, Founder, The Protectors

(NOTE: This is a 3-page article. Use the numbers below to read all three pages.)
As a coach for more than fifteen years, and eight of those as a boys varsity soccer coach, I have seen the benefits of fitness as well as the benefits of being on a team sport. Individual fitness teaches our children that pain may be scary but it isn't fatal. It's manageable and with time, discipline and courage it is mastered and employed to serve our brighter futures. Fitness shows our children the tether between the body, mind, soul and mood. As the body feels good, so does the mind, promoting optimism and endurance. I'm currently helping a men's minister lose some needed weight, and he now has the endurance he needs to withstand the pressures of ministry like never before.

 

Individual fitness teaches our children that pain may be scary but it isn't fatal.

Ideally, sports teach our children how to take life-affirming risk with no assurance of victory. It gives them a theater in which to test their own metal, to "leave it all on the field," and in doing so, walk away, win or lose, with their head held high. Learning how to both win and lose is essential to the abundant life God wants for all of us. But we are not letting our children lose like we used to, and we are committing this fatal mistake at an alarming rate. And sorry moms, you're leading the way in helping to create this new breed of child: weak, pliable, and small-souled due to the sin of over-parenting. And when it comes to the growing form of intentional abuse called bullying, the result is far worse than we initially realize. Coaching the game of life is an important skill that every adult should master in training children.

Learning how to both win and lose is essential to the abundant life God wants for all of us.

Your good and natural desire to love and protect your little chick is great--as long as it's not inordinate. All bad things are good things gone bad, and when it comes to children, camp, sports and life-affirming lessons learned, one of the most dangerous influences today, as dangerous to our souls as dehydration is to muscles and organs--is the growing desire (actually fear) to scrub all discomfort and pain from our children's lives--both physical and psychological.

Find a Y camp where your child can grow confidence this summer.

Read more YMCA focused articles.

Far from loving, it creates fragile, insecure and low-wattage children who constantly look to others to make decisions for them. Weather in diet, exercise, social interaction or personal faith you and your children are not called by God to be comfortable, but rather to experience some pain and thus achieve change.

Advance to the next page to continue reading about the characteristics of an over-protecting parent.

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