Tag Archives: Olympics

When Is The Right Time To Start Crushing Your Children With Pressure?

Today I found myself giving my son a pep talk. My words were the result of my expectations, and I was communicating them in a motivational fashion. It went a little bit like this….. “Son, don’t be allergic to peanuts!! I know you’re too young to understand right now, but your inability to consume peanut butter will put a real strain on this family. We eat peanut butter on toast almost all of the time. I love peanuts son!!! Not the way I love you…. I love you more, but I do love peanuts and peanut butter son, and I need you to not have a peanut allergy. Do you understand???” We were about to give him peanut butter for the 2nd time in his life (which they say is when the allergy will show up). He’s 16 months old.

I’m certain my son didn’t understand the full extent of what I was saying. He’s a pretty smart kid, but not the ‘I know how to talk’ kind of smart. Not yet anyways. He looked at me when I gave the speech, so I know he was listening. I also know that I was holding a cracker at the time of the speech, and he really likes crackers, so I’m not sure if he was focused on Daddy, or simply waiting for me to feed his bottomless pit of a stomach. As I was talking, I felt myself transferring my pressure and anxiety on to his little shoulders. Almost like it was in slow motion, I could feel the disapproving looks of my wife, mother, sister and 3 month old nephew, who were all in the room. Was it too soon? Is he not ready to handle the pressure? Was I wrong?

Parents usually suck at life, and what’s the point of having kids if not to try to make them suck less than we do. We pressure our kids. Whether we mean to or not, we just do. We have to. Somehow if our kids end up not as completely stupid as we all are, then we feel that we’ve redeemed ourselves for our miserably disappointing lives. We can then take FULL credit for their achievements and accomplishments.

I’ve been watching the Olympics a lot this week. What do you notice when you watch the Olympics?? A lot of kids under a lot of pressure. Not only from their parents, but signing up for the Olympics means you get pressure from everybody else’s parents too. Especially if you’re from the same country as them. (The media has the nerve to get on Patrick Chan for not winning a Gold in Figure Skating. He won a Silver, which is awesome, but that’s not good enough for certain rotten cheese doodle eating members of the Canadian Sports Media, but that’s another story). For them to be some of the world’s best athletes, they have to be under pressure. Oh, I know what you’re thinking…. ‘They all put themselves under that pressure because they are so dedicated to their craft’. Sure, that’s probably true, but they learned it somewhere.

It starts at home. It can start when you’re a toddler, and it can start with your father trying to talk you out of having an allergy. Hey, if my son goes to the Olympics someday and ‘puts a lot of pressure on himself to be the best’, I’ll know in my heart of hearts that me pressuring him into not being allergic to peanuts made him a more intense competitor. You can never start too young. Crushing them with your hopes and dreams! They’ll have to endure it later on anyways. You’re not doing them any favors by waiting until they’re 7 or 8 years old.

Now I was going to stop there, and I’m not saying that I don’t trust my readers to know when I’m joking, but……. I’m sort of joking about some of this. Kind of.


I’m as much of a sucker for the Olympics as I previously blogged about being for Disney!  Maybe more-so.  This is my chance to avidly follow people I don’t know playing sports I’ve never watched before, and do so passionately.  I practically threw the converter in heartbreak when the Canadian women’s soccer team lost to the U.S. today.  It’s the first women’s soccer game I’ve ever watched.  I like the idea that people have spent their entire lives preparing for a moment that in some cases lasts under a minute.  Not saying I’d do it……but I will happily watch someone else do it.  It’s inspiring.  There are a lot of emotional moments.  I ‘almost cry’ a lot during the Olympics.  Shut up man… you probably do too!!

Like anything in this world worth watching, the Olympics aren’t perfect.  There’s always some crazy controversy surrounding some of the events.  I have opinions on some of these matters, but I’m going to steer this blog toward some thoughts that have popped into my head over the last week while watching the Olympics.

In no particular order…….(Some of this may be wildly inaccurate)

– I feel bad for the badminton teams that got kicked out because they tried to throw the match.  A lot of times it’s the coaches, and powers that be that make these decisions to do something dumb like throw a match.  The athletes are the ones that pay the price.  I feel this way about steroids as well, and don’t give me the business about the ‘athlete should just say no’.  It doesn’t always work that way.

– I think there are too many swimming medals.  I’m not trying to say that Michael Phelps isn’t the greatest Olympian ever, but other sports don’t award like 5 or 6 medals for doing the same thing (just at different distances).  A Judo guy can only win one medal, so can a basketball team.  They have to play a lot of matches to get there.  If you’re the fastest swimmer in the world and you know a few different strokes, there’s no shortage of medal possibilities.  I find it anti-climactic to see a swimmer not win a medal, but then get 5 more shots at it.

– I had a friend suggest to me last night that there should be retractable diving boards so divers wouldn’t hit their heads.  I agree with this.  I don’t like hearing about divers hitting their heads on the board.  It’s dangerous.  I know that’s part of the sport and it adds to the level of difficulty, but safety should come first.  Everybody wants professional football and hockey to lower their concussion rate….. why not diving.  If they can make an Ipod smaller than a Triscuit, then someone could invent the retractable diving board.

– Some dude threw a plastic bottle onto the track just before the 100 metre sprint finals.  Apparently he’s gone to court and plead not-guilty.  Here’s the thing……How much of a jackass do you have to be to spend the money to go to the Olympics (which I’m sure isn’t the easiest to get tickets for, especially the 100 metre final), and think that it’s a good idea to throw something onto the track like you’re the show that everyone came to see?  Like somehow, with your graceful throwing of the water bottle you could somehow upstage (arguably) the most anticipated event in the entire games?  Big time jackass is the answer I’m looking for.  Will he get a fine?  Prison time?  I don’t know, but I’m a firm believer in ironic punishments.  Since this guy wants to be the show, I think they should string him up naked (as well as some of his closest friends, because the only reason you throw a bottle at a track meet is for a story to tell your friends, and if he has the type of friends that would be impressed by such a story, then they deserve to be punished as well) in front of the entire crowd at the 4X100 relay finals, and invite all the finalists from the 100 meter to come out with a bucket of empty bottles.  Set the timer for 10 minutes and let these sprinters throw the bottles at their idiotic naked bodies from point blank range for 10 straight minutes while the crowd enjoys what I call Olympic Spirit, and Ironic Justice!!

Those are my Olympinions.  What are yours?