Archive for the ‘Parenting’ Category

Junior Golf: Yes You Can, No You Can’t

In this Friday Flop Shot we will continue our examination of choices and how they impact the people involved in them. This post will be from your junior golfer’s perspective.

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Photocredit:Dubai Golf

There are 2 great lines about choices and I encourage parents to ingrain these lines into your children ASAP. It is not too late or too early, whatever his/her age. Again, for this post these lines are said by Mom and Dad to your youngsters.


Son/daughter, you can choose your actions.
This refers back to the previous post about always having choices and there is always a better choice. Basically, everything any of us do, adults or kiddo’s is a choice we make. We have the freedom to do so.
Son/daughter, you cannot choose the consequences of your actions. Wow, that’s actually quite scary! So, your kiddo can make a choice, but the reality is that he/she will have very little ability control the impact/consequences.

What does this really mean to your junior golfer? Let’s use scholastics. He/she can choose to not study, study a little or study a lot for a test. Yes, the more studying done likely will give better results, but there are no guarantees of an excellent outcome. A good grade can continue scholastic eligibility, while a poor grade could lead to problems and perhaps becoming ineligible to compete.

On the golf course, let’s say your kiddo chooses to hit a “hero” shot out of an undesirable lie, rather than merely chipping the ball back in play in the fairway. Even the pros have trouble hitting a great “hero” shot every time. There are so many unpredictables. So what could happen? A million things! Your son attempts his hero shot and the ball gets stuck in a tree. Or it hits a tree and goes out-of-bounds. Or it hits a tree and goes backwards 70 yards into an even worse lie. Again, the possibilities are endless and there is no way to control the consequences of that swing. Too many unknowns and variables.

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Photocredit:Dissolve

Here’s a real-life example. A young female friend of ours had a guy in her face loudly saying unsavory things and he wouldn’t stop or leave her alone. She got tired of it, slapped him and he called the police. She was arrested and is having to spend thousands of dollars and a lot of time working her way through the legal ramifications of 1 slap that left no mark, no scratch, no bruise. Gosh, that’s a lot of grief for 1 slap to a rude dude. She made the choice to slap, but she had no control over the consequences of such an, at the time at least, seemingly necessary action.

Mom and Dad actions/choices have consequences and more often than not, we have little to no control over them. Better choices do however, tend to result in more desirable consequences.

See you on #1 tee ready to make good choices… Sam

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Junior Golf: Go Green-Enjoy St Patrick’s Day

This Friday Flop Shot will be a quick reminder that today is St Patrick’s Day and green is an appropriate color to wear. (image offcoursegolf.com)img_0106-1

Green has several meanings besides just being a color. For us golfers, green has environmental implications as well as being a beautiful part of the scenery on the golf course. 1 of the things that my Dad emphasized to me starting at a very young age, was always leave the environment cleaner than you found it. Whether it was hunting, fishing or on the golf course, we always picked up trash and most of the time it was somebody else’s trash. (image Hooked: Ireland’s Golf Courses)

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Take some time over the weekend to celebrate “green”. Get outdoors, breathe the fresh air and take your junior golfer with you. If you’re able to play golf together casually throw out a sentence or 2 about how great it is to be able to spend time with your son or daughter in such a pleasant setting. No big speech, just something like, “Son, it’s fun being able to spend some time with you. Isn’t the course in great shape? The staff have really done a super job. Let’s give them a big thumbs up!” There you go!

See you on #1 tee wearing some green… Samimage

Junior Golf: 3 Ways To Determine If You Are Going Overboard With All This Golf

In this Monday Mulligan we are going to help you find the answer to the question, “Are we going overboard with all this golf? Are we golf nuts or are we going golf nuts? Is this just crazy?” (image jennleforge.com)image

It’s a perfectly normal question really, for any family which has 1 or more children actively involved in extra-curricular activities. If your daughter’s purpose is to improve her skills and pursue a college golf scholarship, then there is considerable effort necessary for her to achieve the desired result.

How do you know if Mom and Dad and your young golfer are spending an inordinate amount of time on golf? This is different for each family. Golf is our family sport so scheduling time for all things golf-related was easy, normal and not really thought about twice in our routine. If your family is new to golf or has more than 1 kiddo doing after school activities, it may take a bit more structure for you to maintain a level of sanity in your home.

Here is a 3-step checklist to help keep things on track:
Does your daughter’s life have a balance to it? Is she spending proper amounts of time on her schoolwork, relationships, social and spiritual life, life outside of golf? Balance in life is very important. Your girl must be allowed to have and enjoy the life of a kiddo. All golf all the time is not healthy. Heck, even the pros need a break now and then!
Is her golf such a consuming part of the whole family calendar that someone, another child or Dad or Mom or even your daughter complaining about the time, effort and money involved in it? Family dynamics are tough enough on a day-to-day basis. Certainly any complaining needs to be intelligently addressed and worked through to a satisfactory outcome for all. Now if it’s your daughter complaining about too much golf, that’s another issue that needs to be addressed immediately!


Is the family budget being decimated by her golf expenses? It’s easy to spend a ton of money quickly supporting a junior golfer. New equipment, a state-of-the-art training aid, new quality golf shoes or entering several tournaments at the same time can all take a chunk out of the household bank account. Parents, you must stay on top of these expenses or risk being shocked at some point by how much money you have been spending on your daughter’s game. Having a golf budget and sticking to it is very helpful!

In the serious pursuit of any goal, much less a life goal like a college athletic scholarship, considerable persistence, commitment and effort is involved from everyone in the family. Parents must be the parents and your role, while different than the role of your girl is equally as important as hers. You must be on-board even more so than she is! Earth to parents, you are the parents, remember?

See you on #1 tee with everybody happy in their own role… Sam

Junior Golf: Parents Who Do This Will Advance Their Golfer’s Success

In this Monday Mulligan we will look at a major factor involved in advancing your junior golfer’s career. This should be the 1st step parents should take when considering the possibility of your daughter/son entering the wonderful world of junior golf. (image jennleforge.com)image

What Linda and I are offering here is being on the same page, being of like minds, being a unified team and working in tandem to achieve the desired goals.

3 Points To Keep In Mind:
Why both Mom and Dad need to be on the same page. Simply put, common strategies and goals keep your daughter on track and reduce or eliminate the chance for confusion. It enhances her ability to focus! Your girl will already have plenty on her mind and conflicting input from Dad and Mom is not helpful.
What happens when you are on the same page. Working together as the management team for your daughter produces a clear path for her junior golf career. Everyone knows what’s going on. Workouts, range time, putting and chipping drills, on-course/playing time and upcoming tournaments are all scheduled and everybody knows the who, what, when and where of all her commitments.
Why Dad and Mom must stay on the same page. Kids need structure. They actually like structure even though at times, they may complain about it. Once you establish an initial structure, stay with it. Your girl will like the security of knowing her complete junior golf schedule. The family can plan around the golf calendar. This planning can act as a baseline for the complete calendar of all family events. (image ottowa citizen)

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Here’s a real-life example of what happens when parents are not on the same page. This occurred a couple of years ago in 1 of our parenting classes and the topic was healthy eating. We were going over some basics like eating less processed foods and adding more fruits and veggies to the family’s meal plans. A young mom raised her hand and said, “My 7 year old son will not eat any green vegetables. What can I do?”

Linda then asked 1 of the great questions in the history of our parenting classes, “Does your husband eat green vegetables?”
Wow! The look on the young Mom’s face and the silence that briefly followed told the story. Finally she was able to say, “No, he won’t touch them.” The approach to address the issue as Linda immediately offered, was for the Mom and her husband to have a private conversation to see if they could get on the same page, a better page for their young son and family. Hubby, will you please make an effort to eat some green veggies, without whining and complaining and set a healthy example for your son? That’s how easy it is! Just ask your spouse for some help. Ask them to come alongside you.

Our kid’s brains are sponges they are soaking up everything we say and do. We are setting examples, good and not so good, every minute. Let’s leave a positive legacy for our junior golfers. Parents, have that meeting today and get on the same page. It works!

See you on #1 tee with like minds… Sam

Junior Golf: Parents-Choose Your Battles

In today’s Wednesday Waggle we will open up a can of parenting worms, 1 of the toughest parts of 1 of life’s toughest jobs, being a parent. (Dufner photo golfdigest.com)img_0102-1

So where am I going here? Well depending on your personality type would you be referred to as easy-going or kind of a stickler for details or even a pain? Your interactions with your son/daughter have a huge impact on the whole relationship. How is your junior golfer interpreting your words? Is what you say uplifting and encouraging or would it be degrading and negative? What you say and how you say it is important, but even more important is how your youngster is hearing and interpreting it.

Personally I grew up having the undesirable tendency towards being critical of nearly everything and exhibiting an attitude of a perfectionist. Some folks tolerate this behavior better than others and some close friends and family members may even call you out on it and offer to help. And a number of people just don’t want to be around it. This was magnified and brought to a head when Linda’s 2 children from her 1st marriage came on the scene. It took years, but finally I was able to moderate my pain in the rear attitude. It was tough, tough on me and on everyone around me, but I didn’t like how I was and I wanted to change.

As 1 of our favorite experts on teenagers, Mark Gregston, author of Tough Guys and Drama Queens says (paraphrasing), “ If the first thing your son hears as soon as he’s in your presence is a string of gripes about everything from his hair, clothes, room, grades and everything else, why would he ever want to be near you? Nobody wants to be around that!” (Mark Gregston images amazon.com and utube)

Parents, it’s important that you pick your battles! Don’t magnify minor issues out of proportion. Obviously things that are morally, ethically or legally wrong cannot be ignored, but don’t get caught up in every little detail of your boy’s/girl’s life that might annoy or embarrass you and make it a battle.

What’s a battle? As long as it doesn’t violate the school’s dress code, does a shirt, blouse, hair style or cut, or pair of shoes warrant a war? In our thoughts, no. Is cutting class or lying a battle, yep, sure is? You get my point.

Please be the Mom or Dad of encouraging words, more positive and less to zero negative. You can do it. Listen more, talk less. A good hug and “I love you”, are highly recommended! The time with our kids flys by. Before you know it they’re on their own. Make your time together the kind of time where your kids want to be with you and you want to be with them. Really, there’s nothing else like it!

See you on #1 tee wanting to be around each other… Sam

Junior Golf: Catch Her Doing This

In this Wednesday Waggle we will look at your daughter in perhaps a way that is different than normal, a bit more focused on your part, Mom and Dad. (Dufner photo golfdigest.com)

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If someone could watch your interaction with your daughter inside your home, what would be their 1st impression? Wow, what a warm, loving home. Ouch, I feel like I’m watching basic training or well, this looks pretty normal.

Everyone likes praise and your young golfer is no different. Ask yourself, as a parent, “When I address my children, am I sounding more positive, negative or neutral?” I can assure you that if you are constantly harping on your daughter, nobody wants to be around that environment, as in, around you. No one wants to go to or be in a place where they are constantly verbally attacked. If you are this parent, I encourage you to change, immediately! It’s never too late!

Here’s where to start. It’s simple, but not easy until you develop the habit after 21 days of consistency. Catch her doing something right. This would be her doing a helpful thing that was not totally just prompted by you or your spouse. These may be tiny moments or sizeable moments, take advantage of them to help affirm your child’s sense of value.

For example: “Thanks for helping put away the groceries!” “ Your room looks great, good job!” “You hit some excellent chip shots!” “That’s a nice looking outfit!” And a great line to use after a larger effort gets good results such as a high test score or a very competitive round of golf, courtesy of Dr Kevin Leman, author of Have A New Kid By Friday is “Great job, all your hard work really paid off!” A lot of meaningful words in that statement. (photo pga.com)

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Some more words that are important for your daughter and all of your family to hear are, “I love you.” In our parenting classes this past weekend, all 40 of our parents agreed that a parent can never tell a child, “I love you”, too much. Yep!

Be the positive parent! Look for things where you can through positive reinforcement improve your girl’s sense of self worth and her ability to accomplish things in a worthy manner. Ditch the negativity. Yes, it can be difficult particularly if you have been prone to a negative bent your whole life. You can do this! Remember, it’s never too late!

See you on #1 tee looking for you to do things right… Sam

 

 

Junior Golf: A Special Valentine For Your Junior Golfer

In today’s Monday Mulligan we will look at a very special Valentine that you can give to your junior golfer. Tomorrow is a day that we can express our love for another. So, here we go! (image jennleforge.com)image

In yesterday’s parenting class we had several classic points that were presented that would impact our child’s sense of well-being. Please remember that our kids have a strong desire to feel loved and that they are an important part of the family. While there are a number of factors involved, today we will address just one thing.

Focused attention. What is it exactly? From the parent’s perspective it is 1 on 1 with your junior golfer. No cell phones, tv or other distractions just the 2 of you. And Dad/Mom is genuinely giving your best effort to hear what your kiddo is saying to you. For us parents, this is likely a good example of where less talking from us, equates to more listening and more learning.

The depth of this exercise is different for your young golfer than perhaps for you. So save the heavy stuff for later and have some fun right now. For example to see how well you have done, ask yourself these questions after a few conversations. And Linda will go in with this list and fill it out and then memorize it. Different but fun and your youngster will enjoy this drill. (image The Links at Riverlakes Ranch)

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Can you name your junior golfer’s best friends? Favorite golf club? Favorite golf course? Favorite school subject? Favorite food? Favorite color? And what else? Mom and Dad, these are things that are important to them, these things matter! Your familiarity and knowledge of these details shows your child that you are sincerely interested in them and that you care! Give them some focused attention and love!

So go buy them some of their favorite sweets and hand-write a one-of-a-kind Valentine’s card.

See you on #1 tee with your favorite things… Sam

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