Reflecting on priorities of family & work
This seems like a preposterous question. It was to me the first time I read it. Like most parents I know, I love to attend my kids sporting events and believe I have a “healthy” relationship with my kids and their sports. I don’t scream at them or their coaches, I try (hard) not to coach from the sidelines and only provide encouragement (my daughter says she never hears us anyway), and work with them to foster sportsmanship, teamwork, and fair play. So, I initially dismissed this headline – until I read who made the statement – on PBS NewsHour no less.
Daniel Pink is one of my favorite authors having written two books that have deeply impacted my view of work and family – Drive and To Sell is Human. He is the host of one mine and my kid’s favorite tv shows, “Crowd Control“. What I appreciate about Pink’s books, articles, and TV shows is that he uses his research background in motivational psychology to demonstrate how to change your own and other people’s behaviors through positive feedback and by tapping into the competitive nature of human beings. Here’s the video:
This sub-four minute video has not persuaded me to ban ALL parents from youth sports, but he does make compelling, research-based arguments to consider.
Well, I’m intrigued, but not convinced. Here are my counterpoints:
As parents, we need to take a holistic view of child-rearing that encompasses all aspects of our kids experiences as they grow up. As with youth sports, we do not expect our kids’ school to impart all of their academic, behavioral, and non-cognitive skills and view these other opportunities and our role as parents to help complete the puzzle. Part of the job of a clinical researcher is to isolate variables, which Pink has done with youth sports. Part of our job as parents is to examine all of the variables.
I look forward to continuing to read Dan Pink and appreciate how he has pushed my thinking yet again. While I do not completely agree with his assertions, they do give me pause and add meaningfully to my perspective.