Tuesday, February 8, 2011

in the mesh

Parents, remember your child's hockey experience is really about you. Yes, it is a blunt truth but elegant in its systemic motion. Your needs; your social, emotional, ambition, and fulfillment needs can be met. Your children do not have fully myelinated frontal lobes. They cannot know what they fully need. They rely upon you.

Moreover, they really are 'mini yous'. They carry your name on their back. And you wear their team jerseys, coats, and scarves. It is a brilliant system conflating unspoken adult needs with a nobler child mission.

Your child's hockey experience is a socially acceptable method to stay 'too busy' to address deficits or troubling issues in your life. These issues are positively wide ranging, take your pick: deteriorating spousal relationship? self-image issues? emotional over-eating? job dissatisfaction? unresolved athletic ambitions?

You can even brag how much time you spend on your child's hockey. Can you brag about drinking alcohol daily to meet your needs? Can you brag about extramarital affairs or a gambling addiction as a method to disassociate from life's difficult issues?
Obviously the answer is no.


You can brag about driving kids to pre-dawn hockey, "hanging around arenas" calling the non hockey siblings "rink rats", stand by the glass with take-out coffee at a "board meeting". These and other clever bon mots perpetuate the culture of 'for the kids myth' all the while avoiding anything real or troubling in your life. Even at home, you can busy yourself posting and twittering social media pages with messages and pictures of hockey events.

You can look like a martyr while secretly meeting your own needs!

In short, children's hockey is a wonderful way to cope with absolutely any difficulty in your own life. And, it is not only socially acceptable, but encouraged!!

And those statistics showing rising rates of Canadian children manifesting anxiety disorders, stress-related somatic illnesses, disordered eating, and suicidal ideation are easily avoided by a mere Cartesian cycle of denial and avoidance that is perfectly exemplified by parental enmeshment in children's hockey.

However, instead of the complicated mumbo jumbo inherent in the nuisance of current research I suggest the following simple but pithy motto: "Hockey Is Good For Kids Because It Is Good For Kids And All The Parents In Hockey Agree"

1 comment:

  1. Clearly, you were in a bad mood when you wrote this. I'm not sure that hockey is our substitute for dealing with things, because what exactly should we do? Skip hockey so the sad, gambling-addicted, emotionally-blunted, alcoholic, unfulfilled parents can have therapy? I think it is more a matter of "life goes on" even with our emotional baggage--you have to deal with it on your own time while your kids do what makes them happy. If hockey makes them happy, teaches them good values, keeps them healthy and fit, then we must put our problems aside FOR AWHILE to allow them the experience. If playing hockey (or whatever) interferes with family relationships or other aspects of life too much, then okay, not so good. If it makes life too hectic that we can't engage in self-relfection and self-improvement, then yeah, it's an excuse. But then, one's life is probably that way in other aspects, so don't blame a perfectly good sport. Hockey is crazy here. Over-the-top at times, and this is not good for anyone. But that's a different argument...