Parents who push their children into sport have been warned they could put their health at risk.
According to Rod Jaques, the medical director of the English Institute of Sport, we’ve got to strike a “delicate balance” between supporting children who like sport and pushing them to the point that we could be seen to have “ugly parent syndrome”.
Speaking at the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference, Dr Jaques said he had seen worrying cases where a parent’s love is conditional on their children doing well at sport.
He reckons too much of this can push young children into developing eating disorders or even inventing injuries to get out competing.
“It’s a very delicate balance between encouragement and support for that child, and its potential for being a mentor or a tormentor of the child I think is really quite real,” said Dr Jaques.
He added, “ It is often anecdotally said that behind every injured child is a parent athlete wanting to get out.”
“Australians have gone a bit further and called this the ugly parent syndrome and we probably have witnessed this on the side of our rugby fields or football fields of the bawling parent, not just at the referee but at the child on the field of play,” he said.
Are you guilty of being a pushy parent or are you just being supportive of what your child wants to do? Share your thoughts on the idea of ugly parent syndrome below…