What This Year's Wimbledon Champions Teach Us About Parenting

Parenting Advice From Andy Murray & Marion Bartoli Of Wimbledon
Self, Family

This year's winners offered some great tennis matches and even better parenting lessons.

Wimbledon — the iconic tennis tournament — finished the 2013 season in fine British form.

Hometown favorite, Andy Murray, won the men's singles division in a heart-stopping final match, making him the first British man to win Wimbledon in 77 years. His story is a great one for all athletes in that he persevered over a devastating loss in the finals of Wimbledon last year to beat the top-ranked tennis player Novak Djokovic this year. But his journey has some fine lessons for parents too. When being interviewed after his win, he simply said, "I learned from all of my defeats."

Parents, did you hear that? He suffered defeats, many of them, yet he continued on. His parents let him suffer defeat; they didn't micromanage his career so that he never had a loss. They stuck with him and let him learn from failing. Here's what his mother had to say about his losses: "He had chances in the final last year and let it get away. I think every time you have a really tough loss, a loss that really hurts you, you learn a lot from it about how to handle the occasions better going forward."

Maybe it's time for all of us to let our children fail and hurt. How many of you won't let your child get a bad grade or risk not making a travel team, or look silly when trying a new sport or let your child leave the house with an outfit that may not be so fashionable? When Murray lost in the Wimbledon finals last year, he didn't yell, "no fair" and neither did his family. Murray got to work, he figured out what he'd been doing wrong, he trained like a maniac and he worked on his state of mind so that he came to the court this year ready to do better. One of my clients just told me that she couldn't let her child fail a high school course because "it will ruin his whole life." I'm pretty sure that it will do no such thing and, in fact, it may be just what he needs to motivate him to do better next time. Keep reading...

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