It can be a beautiful thing when both you and your kids are golfers; you all understand the sport, you can spend quality time together playing, and as a parent, you can support them in their goals. But when you’re the parent of a golfer and a golfer yourself, this can also present some challenges (as you may have already discovered!). In the interest of keeping golf fun for everyone and healthy for your relationship, check out these tips for how to separate your game of golf from your kids’ game.
Awareness is key here. If you understand that this relationship can get a bit tricky, then you can be on the lookout to try and address the situation before it becomes an issue. Consider what moments allow for positive interactions and which ones could get a bit sticky. For example, you know that rehashing the ups and downs of the courses you play together is great, but when you try to coach—look out! Build awareness for the positives and potential challenges that come with parenting a golfer, as a golfer.
Find the fun
Remember that kids are likely to stick with sports that they enjoy. And since golf is a sport that they can play for a long time, helping them have fun is important. Be careful of friendly competitions and of comparing your skills to one another. Even if it starts off friendly, these interactions can suck the fun out of a moment before you know it, and tension can build. To create fun together, try a new course, watch golf on TV, or play a round without keeping score. Find ways to mix things up and enjoy the game of golf together or separately. And when your kids seem tense, be there to help them find or create ways to enjoy themselves again.
Take a step back in frustrating moments
When you and your child play the same sport, emotions can get tangled up. Because you know the sport so well, you understand things, but you may also make assumptions about experiences or feelings. You might end up projecting your own feelings onto your kids, for example, you let your frustration about your long game influence how you feel about their long game. In any challenging situation, especially when it relates to golf, when you and your child are getting heated, take a moment to stop, breathe, and think about how you would feel in this situation as your child. How might they like you to respond? Taking a step back and choosing how to respond is important for your relationship and for each of you individually.
Golf is a great way for you to connect with your child and can create many lasting memories. While there are times where parenting a golfer, as a golfer, can be a challenge, use these three tips to help separate your golf game from your athlete’s game.