We are in the middle of football season and for many people Fantasy Football is an integral part of their sports life. Leagues are formed, drafts are held, and trash talk ensues. Games are watched intensely each and every week.
Many people watch certain teams or games only to see if their players are going to score fantasy points so their teams can win.
Interestingly enough, I think we have transferred the motives of Fantasy Football to parenting. I think we have become a generation of fantasy parents.
We see ourselves vested in our kids so much that when they do well we feel good. We compare our kids' “points” to the kids in other families or on other teams. Our comparative theology pushes us to look at other families so we can compare what we are doing in our families.
We have created this “point” system that is based solely on what our kids do and not who they are. Academic, athletic, and musical accomplishments are counted each week and judged accordingly. We begin to parent in a way that is motivated by what we can get out of our child or how many “points” they can get us. The pressure put on our children begins to look like the pressure we feel when our fantasy team is down going into the last game of the night.
This might sound crazy but I think it is something we have to consider. Is our focus more about what our kids do or who they are?
I pray that we don’t value performance over the status of their heart. We should want our children to become people who love Jesus. We want them to love Him so much that they surrender their lives to Him.
So how do we know if we are falling into that “fantasy parenting” trap? Here are some questions to ask:
- Are we more concerned with our kid’s performances than we are with how they treat others?
- Do you find yourself constantly looking at the accomplishments of other kids and pushing your kids because of it?
- Does your mood change based on the performance of your children?
- Is your family schedule so filled with performance-based activities that your intentional family time is affected?
- Are your family conversations focused mostly on performances or matters of the heart?
My prayer is that we can steer clear of this “fantasy parenting” trap and focus on teaching our kids what it means to follow Jesus and how to live as a godly man or woman.