Rachel Macy Stafford: “6 Words You Should Say Today”

Written by: Rachel Macy Stafford

Excerpt from http://www.huffingtonpost.com


***Rachel Macy Stafford is a certified special education teacher with a Master’s Degree in education and ten years experience working with parents and children. In December 2010, this life-long writer felt compelled to share her journey to let go of daily distraction and grasp what really matters by creating the blog, “Hands Free Mama.”

Rachel mission is to provide individuals with the inspiration, motivation, and tools to let go of the distractions of the modern age so they can grasp the moments in life that matter. Join her on her journey to a more meaningful life at www.handsfreemama.com and by visiting “The Hands Free Revolution” on Facebook! Rachel”s guide to transforming a distracted life, Hands Free Mama, is available for pre-order on Amazon and hits shelves in January. Amazon and hits shelves in January.***


The Bear: Hello Rachel, this article would be a great read for our tennis parents, would we be able to re-post it to ONcourt?

Rachel: Thank you for this special request. I would be honored if you share my piece with your readers!

The Bear: This article was sent to me by Ryan Zeman one of our great young level 3 coaches. The emphasis on progressive tennis has brought about the influx of many parents new to the game. In their well meaning exuberance they sometimes forget the love that must be given to nurture the confidence in their children. Please enjoy and practice “Six words you should say today”


Very rarely does one sentence have immediate impact on me.

Very rarely does one sentence change the way I interact with my family.

But this one did. It was not from Henry Thoreau or some renowned child psychologist. It was invaluable feedback from children themselves. And if I’ve learned anything on my Hands Free journey, it is that children are the true experts when it comes to grasping what really matters in life.

Here are the words that changed it all:

“… college athletes were asked what their parents said that made them feel great, that amplified their joy during and after a ballgame. Their overwhelming response: ‘I love to watch you play.'”

The life-changing sentence came at the beginning of an article entitled, “What Makes a Nightmare Sports Parent and What Makes a Great One,” which described powerful insights gathered over three decades by Bruce E. Brown and Rob Miller of Proactive Coaching LLC. Although I finished reading the entire piece, my eyes went back and searched for that one particular sentence — the one that said, “I love to watch you play.”

I read the sentence exactly five times. Then I tried to remember the past conversations I had with my kids at the conclusion of their extracurricular activities. Upon completion of a swim meet, a music recital, a school musical, or even a Sunday afternoon soccer game, had I ever said, “I love to watch you play”?

I could think of many occasions when I encouraged, guided, complimented, and provided suggestions for improvement. Did that make me a nightmare sports parent? No, but maybe sometimes I said more than was needed.

By nature, I am a wordy person — wordy on phone messages (often getting cut off by that intrusive beep) and wordy in writing (Twitter is not my friend).

And although I have never really thought about it, I’m pretty sure I’m wordy in my praise, too. I try not to criticize, but when I go into extensive detail about my child’s performance it could be misinterpreted as not being “good enough.”

Continue reading…Huff Post Original Full Article can be found by clicking here.

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