CK & GK Podcast

Got An Ultra-Competitive Kid? You'll Want to Avoid These 3 Useless Phrases

August 08, 2023 Jenny GK and Caitlin Kindred
CK & GK Podcast
Got An Ultra-Competitive Kid? You'll Want to Avoid These 3 Useless Phrases
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Despite your best efforts and pep talks, your child still struggles with their mental game during and after competitions. 

Sound familiar?

Watching your ultra-competitive kiddo’s self-esteem suffer after a defeat—or even after what they consider to be a poor personal performance—is brutal at best. The pain of watching your child's confidence dwindle while trying to push them forward is undeniable. 

But there *are* some things you can say to validate their feelings and still help them move forward. In this episode, CK & GK reveal what not to say to your competitive kid and unveil the secrets to uplifting and encouraging them while creating an environment that empowers them to reach their full potential.

This episode will help you to

  • Discover the secrets to fostering a positive atmosphere for competitive children, leading to their success without resorting to unhealthy comparisons.
  • Recognize the need for balanced feedback in child development, involving a healthy mixture of praise and understanding of negative emotions.
  • Identify the powerful role of parental communication in sculpting children's perception towards competition and help you reshape your words for more empathetic responses

We take a deeper dive into this week's content in our blog post, here.

Key moments in this episode

  • 00:00:01 - Introduction,
  • 00:00:19 - Caitlin's nickname for Jenny,
  • 00:01:25 - Instagram account recommendation,
  • 00:04:08 - Caitlin's experience at Topgolf,
  • 00:07:21 - Kit's shrimp cocktail misunderstanding,
  • 00:14:54 - Avoiding Unhelpful Statements,
  • 00:15:47 - Validating Causation,
  • 00:16:31 - Toxic Positivity,
  • 00:17:21 - Honesty with Positivity,
  • 00:19:31 - TV Recommendation and Final Thoughts


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Thanks, y'all!

00:00:01 - Jenny GK
It's Tuesday.

00:00:03 - Caitlin Kindred
Yay. We're so glad you're here. We have a Cram Sesh episode, which means today's going to be a shorty but a goodie, and we're talking about what to say to your competitive kids, or rather, what not to say to your competitive kids.

00:00:19 - Jenny GK
I love it. I love it. This morning, I have with me Caitlin, but we could call her Paradox Garnet Tanzanite. She's a real gem.

00:00:30 - Caitlin Kindred
Oh, I like it. You're such a beautifully self assured hawk. I cannot get enough of you. They get stupider and stupider. I love it. So good.

00:00:44 - Jenny GK
Hawk, right?

00:00:47 - Caitlin Kindred
Self assured. Did you know hawks had self actualization?

00:00:54 - Jenny GK
Yeah, no, I was really concerned about maybe having low self esteem as a hawk. Right. Here I am at the top of the food chain, but should I be at the top of the food chain? Have I earned this spot right?

00:01:09 - Caitlin Kindred
What did I do to get here? Why am I here? Existential crisis.

00:01:13 - Jenny GK
Hawk. Oh, man.

00:01:17 - Caitlin Kindred
All right, so since this is a shorty, let's get right to our current obsessions. What you got for me?

00:01:23 - Jenny GK
Okay, I have been waiting to tell you this for so long. I've wanted to send you so many links, and I just haven't done okay, okay. There's this account on Instagram that you have to check out.

00:01:33 - Caitlin Kindred

00:01:35 - Jenny GK
I am not sure how to say their name. It looks like it's at Rachapites.

00:01:45 - Caitlin Kindred
Oh, I went rachapotes.

00:01:47 - Jenny GK
Rachapotes. It's Rachapotes. All right, I'm doing it right now. Oh, yes, you are. All this account has is videos of bottles breaking. Sometimes they roll them down the stairs. Sometimes they swing them on giant strings and let them crash together. Sometimes they set up like, a bowling situation where they roll balls at the.

00:02:16 - Caitlin Kindred
Oh, wait, I've seen this. I've seen one of these videos breaking.

00:02:19 - Jenny GK
Bottles and breaking jars, and I am obsessed.

00:02:23 - Caitlin Kindred
Oh, racha potes is how it says it on the okay.

00:02:28 - Jenny GK
Racha potes.

00:02:29 - Caitlin Kindred
But there's, like, a bunch of copycatters on here. But there's clearly one that's real, and it's yes, I saw one of these where you rolled a bunch down the stairs. Yes, it's the one with the water beads inside. Oh, my gosh.

00:02:44 - Jenny GK
Yes. And so there's, like, Coke bottles, liquor bottles, pickle jars, anything that's glass, and they just roll it down the stairs and it breaks. And it's so fun to watch.

00:02:56 - Caitlin Kindred
Yeah. So when I saw this the first time, it was the pizza sauce as it rolled down, and then the mustard jar just like or the jar of corn just keeps going and going and going, like, what in the world? Why is it so fun to watch?

00:03:11 - Jenny GK
I don't know. And it's not one of those things that's like mesmerizing and like, oh, ASMR blah, blah, blah. It's not like that. This is just amazing to watch.

00:03:24 - Caitlin Kindred
I just watched him push down one the stairs, and it literally hit the.

00:03:27 - Jenny GK
First step and went, yes.

00:03:32 - Caitlin Kindred
Also, who has the patience to clean this crap up. Like, I would lose my mind. Why?

00:03:38 - Jenny GK
One of these videos is, like, 8 seconds long, and yet there's probably 2 hours worth of cleanup after they do this.

00:03:46 - Caitlin Kindred
Yeah, because you just rolled a bottle of wine down Marble stairs. What are you thinking? Oh, my goodness.

00:03:53 - Jenny GK

00:03:54 - Caitlin Kindred
Yeah, I'm following it.

00:03:57 - Jenny GK
Yes, you are. It's so good.

00:03:58 - Caitlin Kindred
Why? It's satisfying or fun to watch, but it's totally fun to watch. Okay, so speaking of fun, my husband and I went out on a date the other night. Oh, fun. Yeah. It had been a while, and it was really good, but we chose to go to Topgolf. I'd never been before.

00:04:19 - Jenny GK
It was your first?

00:04:20 - Caitlin Kindred
It was my first time at Topgolf. I like sporty activities like that. It's just something different. And I love to go bowling. It's one of those random things where it's like, this is just for fun, and I'm so bad, and I don't care.

00:04:35 - Jenny GK
Except that oh, yeah.

00:04:36 - Caitlin Kindred
I'm one of those ADHD people who's mildly to moderately good at everything that I try. Usually the first time, except being humble. Right, exactly. That's something that I feel like I can be really good at if I just.

00:05:01 - Jenny GK
That'S no, I know what you mean. You click with something, and then you're like, odly, good at it.

00:05:07 - Caitlin Kindred
Right. I'm weirdly good.

00:05:07 - Jenny GK
It's like Abigail and disc golf. I'm like, I don't know why she's so good at this, but she is.

00:05:11 - Caitlin Kindred
But she just is. Right. And it's like, when I play basketball, I'm actually a relatively accurate shot. I'm weirdly good at foosball in a way that's kind of shocking to a lot of people. I am terrible at golf. I am terrible. I am really bad. That's what we've learned. And I will say I'm better than the people on either side of me who were literally hitting balls at me in the bay. It was very scary. At a couple of points, I was like, oh, my God, that ball just came and buzzed by my ankle.

00:05:46 - Jenny GK
That's bad. That's like when you're bowling and the person drops the ball behind snow. Reason at Top Golf for your ball not to go forward.

00:05:55 - Caitlin Kindred
Right. However, by the end of it, I was, like, using a three wood to sail balls, like 75 to 100 yards. I did get 100 yards. That was very cool. So I'm kind of into it. However, today my body hurts so bad, and this happened two days ago, and my body hurts so bad today. There's so many muscles I didn't realize that you use when you're golfing.

00:06:21 - Jenny GK
Golfing my body hurts so bad.

00:06:23 - Caitlin Kindred
But I loved it. I had so much fun, and now I just want to go back to Top golf.

00:06:27 - Jenny GK
That is so funny. Okay, first off, I love that your body is hurting because you went and did something active with your husband this morning. My knee is swollen and hurts because I tripped over the couch last night and landed on my knee. I tripped on the couch.

00:06:47 - Caitlin Kindred
No, we're just at that age where your body just hurts just by rolling over.

00:06:53 - Jenny GK
Right. As soon as I did it, John was, oh, tomorrow's going to be hard. Oh, man.

00:07:04 - Caitlin Kindred
I stood up. Oh, goodness. That's not your gem, I'm assuming, like, you falling down.

00:07:08 - Jenny GK
No, my gem is pretty sweet. Kit, my four year old, and I were watching some old Julia Child and Jacques Papen cooking shows, and they made shrimp cocktail.

00:07:21 - Caitlin Kindred

00:07:23 - Jenny GK
And Kit was so excited. Oh, look at that. And they're, like, doing it the old school style with, like, a martini glass and putting the shrimp on. And he said, we should make that. Okay, yeah, we can make that. And then he says, and maybe I could try it. And I said, oh, yeah, you could totally try it. Yeah, you can have shrimp cocktail. And then he says, well, does it have alcohol in it? And I said, no, it doesn't have alcohol. It's something that you can have. We'll make the sauce ourselves because you can buy the sauce, but it's better if you make it at home. And we'll put lettuce in the cups just like they did, and then we'll put the shrimp on the side. Okay. So fast forward to the next day. I bought a bunch of already cooked shrimp so that we can make shrimp cocktails. And I said, Kit, are you going to eat shrimp cocktail with me tonight? He goes, I'm going to drink it. So at that moment, I realized I have got to clear this up immediately, otherwise there's going to be some major disappointment this evening that shrimp cocktail is not a drink, and it is not just for grown ups. And he feels like he's doing something really right.

00:08:39 - Caitlin Kindred
Oh, man. He sees the martini glass, and one, it's you guys, so he knows he has to ask for alcohol clearance. But two, the martini glass, it's fancy, and kids don't get to hold those. And there's something special about it.

00:08:55 - Jenny GK
Dude. He was so proud when he balanced all his little eight shrimp on his glass and is walking around the house holding it.

00:09:02 - Caitlin Kindred
I love that so much. What a sweetheart.

00:09:07 - Jenny GK
Parents out there who are struggling to survive summer, maybe make shrimp cocktail with your four year olds.

00:09:14 - Caitlin Kindred
Yeah, we actually made, quote, masagna last night, but you use cheese filled raviolis to do oh, so that's part of your layer. So you don't have to go get.

00:09:29 - Jenny GK
Ricotta cheese, make a whole cheese thing.

00:09:32 - Caitlin Kindred
Yeah, you just use that. And so Sam was very excited to lay the noodles down. That was a really good and it's super easy for them. You just cook the meat and then layer it all in together so that's another way to occupy your child for a little bit of time. Worked really well. I have learned that I need to scale back on whatever extra calories I've been taking in because my kid came home from camp the other day and immediately puts his head on my stomach to listen for a baby. That's what he said, quote, to listen for a baby. Because there could be a baby in there. You never know. And I'm like, I better know. I better know.

00:10:24 - Jenny GK
If you can hear it, I should know at that point.

00:10:26 - Caitlin Kindred
I better know by then, right? And he's tall, right? So it was, like, even more awkward.

00:10:32 - Jenny GK
It was like just like, walked up.

00:10:34 - Caitlin Kindred
And put his ear and bent over to put his ear on my stomach to listen for a baby because there could be one in there. So I was like, all right. I realized that I went on vacation and then got COVID and wasn't exercising and got a little sloppy. But apparently I put on a little more weight than I thought. So we're going to tone it back.

00:10:57 - Jenny GK
Oh, my day the other day, Kit asked me, mom, are you feeling fat? And John like, goes to bark at him, right? And I was like, no, it's okay. It's okay. We can tell him that you don't ask people outside our family that. But I'm not outside the family because.

00:11:14 - Caitlin Kindred
It hurts my feelings.

00:11:15 - Jenny GK
Yeah. I was like, it's okay. It's okay. Let's go down this road and see what he's asking. I said, am I looking fat? And he says, Deadpan, your face is bigger now than before I went down for my nap. Okay, so in the intervening 90 minutes, I have put on enough weight for you to notice in my like, no, it's totally worth.

00:11:47 - Caitlin Kindred
It'S. Like, you know the light in the claus when when Tim Allen's, like, first gaining weight? And he's like, I got stung by a bee. And then he eats this massive meal bee sting.

00:12:00 - Jenny GK
Evidently, I'm allergic and all my clothes poof. Dry cleaner, right? Burned down.

00:12:06 - Caitlin Kindred
Yeah, exactly. He's like, poof, gone. The dodger says the swelling will go down. Oh, man. All right, well, we're going to get right into the real Talk. We're skipping promos today. We're going right to the Real Talk to try and get you guys as much time as possible. Yeah, exactly. These are three things that you should not be saying to your competitive child.

00:12:32 - Jenny GK
This is good.

00:12:32 - Caitlin Kindred
Yeah. This article is heavily aka stolen from Emma Singer for Pure. Wow. And she interviewed a doctor named Dr. Bethany Cook, who is a licensed clinical psychologist with more than 20 years of clinical experience. She wrote a book called For What It's Worth, a perspective on how to thrive and survive parenting. So I'm going to link both the article and the link to the book in the show notes so that you guys can find them if this is something that you would like to learn more about. So three things you should not save your competitive child. The first one quote. Maybe you're not cut out for the activity.

00:13:16 - Jenny GK
Like walking in the dark. You might bang your knee up.

00:13:19 - Caitlin Kindred
Maybe horseback riding is just not your thing. Like, okay, great.

00:13:22 - Jenny GK
No, that's not cool.

00:13:24 - Caitlin Kindred
Don't join in on negativity that they're already feeling. Dr. Cook says adding seeds of doubt only grows anxiety and stress, causing your child to rethink their choices. But if your child is passionate about something, it often means they're willing to do whatever it takes to be successful at it. So basically the gist here is you're trying to build a resilient child. You're trying to foster perseverance. You're not trying to teach them that it's okay to quit because something they're.

00:13:53 - Jenny GK
Not cut out for.

00:13:54 - Caitlin Kindred
It might not be their thing. Like, who says that that feels obvious, but maybe it's not. Okay, so along those lines, I bet you wouldn't have lost today if and then you start to paint scenarios.

00:14:10 - Jenny GK
Oh, my gosh. Hi, my name's Monday morning quarterback.

00:14:13 - Caitlin Kindred
Like, come on. So the idea here is to avoid any kind of statement that starts, like, right, right. And then finishes by putting blame on something completely unrelated. So Dr. Cook says these are a harmful form of gaslighting that negatively impacts the child's self esteem, hinders their ability to learn from mistakes or lose graciously, and creates significant confusion, anxiety, and irrational thoughts. Basically, you don't want to just blame someone else unfairly just to make your kid feel better. You're teaching them to be a finger pointer, and you're teaching them to pass the buck, and it just turns them into a poor sport later on. Don't do that. So things like, I bet you wouldn't have lost today if the ref hadn't had his head up his butt.

00:15:01 - Jenny GK
Oh, my gosh.

00:15:02 - Caitlin Kindred
Or I bet you wouldn't have lost today if your dad knew how to get out the door on time. Those are not helpful, right? Those have nothing to do with the performance in the sport. And all you're doing is saying, well, Dad's, it's dad's fault because I couldn't get there on time, so I couldn't do my warm up the right way, and now I lost.

00:15:19 - Jenny GK
It's like, okay, I have this picture of this mom in my mind, and she is, like, carrying around her drink that everybody knows is vodka and Gatorade, but they all pretend that it's coffee. Who would say that you would win if your dad knew how to get out the door on time?

00:15:38 - Caitlin Kindred
She's a hardcore football mom. Probably like, she's real into it and banking on that scholarship. There are exceptions to what you can say, right? You can say, I bet you wouldn't have lost if you're trying to prove causation that's rational. So, for example, sure, I know you didn't get enough sleep last night. Do you think that might have impacted your performance or refs miss some things that make or break a game? Everybody makes mistakes. Maybe that's part of what contributed to the loss of the day, right?

00:16:12 - Jenny GK
Yeah, things like that. Or I could tell your head wasn't in the game.

00:16:15 - Caitlin Kindred
Just something like that. That shows that there's a causal relationship and not like the ref had his head up his butt.

00:16:21 - Jenny GK
So that's why you that's why you lost.

00:16:25 - Caitlin Kindred
Okay, so we've talked about these other kinds of statements before, so I'm going to just throw this. The last one out there is my least favorite one. You'll always be a winner in my eyes. EW. No toxic positivity, please. No toxic positivity. It's the worst. It's a according to Dr. Cook, a blanket, generic, non specific statement that feels emotionally invalidating and gross. And I love that she said gross at the end of that because it's so disingenuous. We've talked about these statements before, especially when we've had guests who talk about parenting. Anytime you're talking about toxic positivity, it feels fake. Your kid is feeling down, and when you say something like, you'll always be a winner in my eyes, all you're doing is just invalidating how they feel. They're like, I don't feel like a winner. Stop doing that. So the better way to go is.

00:17:21 - Jenny GK
To be positive, and your kid doesn't need to be a winner to be a great kid.

00:17:25 - Caitlin Kindred
Right? Yeah. There's there's other ways to handle this. So I love the idea of honesty along with positivity. Right. So as Dr. Cook says, a competitive kid needs honesty to learn how to harness their feeling. The best thing a parent can do is sit with the child and show them how the feelings will shift and how they can process and learn from the experience once they're out of those feelings. So, for example, you could say, I noticed that you did struggle a little bit with your passes today, but your ball handling skills were amazing when you scored that goal. Find something positive to sandwich along with validating their feelings. Right. It's like, I struck out four times today. Okay, yes, you did strike out four times today. However, I saw the way you made that double play happen, and I'm so proud of you for doing that. Find something positive to pull out of the experience, but still validate the negative feelings that they're having.

00:18:25 - Jenny GK
Or you struck out four times today. But, man, you looked really great out there. Right?

00:18:30 - Caitlin Kindred
Your swing was on it. Right? And baseball is hard. You're trying to hit a round ball with a round bat when the ball is coming at you. Right.

00:18:44 - Jenny GK

00:18:44 - Caitlin Kindred
So to wrap up three things you should not say to your kid who is very competitive, maybe you're not cut out for the activity. I bet you wouldn't have lost today and then tie that statement to something that has absolutely no basis in fact.

00:19:02 - Jenny GK
I bet you wouldn't have lost today if even if you're offering positive yeah.

00:19:07 - Caitlin Kindred
I don't really like it still, the way you say that right?

00:19:11 - Jenny GK
The game might have gone better if right.

00:19:14 - Caitlin Kindred

00:19:15 - Jenny GK
You might have played better if you had more sleep. Right?

00:19:20 - Caitlin Kindred
And the last one is toxic positivity statements. You'll always be a winner in my eyes. Don't say things like that. It's awful.

00:19:27 - Jenny GK

00:19:28 - Caitlin Kindred
Yeah. That wraps our crampsh, guys.

00:19:31 - Jenny GK
Oh, my gosh. So fast.

00:19:32 - Caitlin Kindred
So fast.

00:19:34 - Jenny GK
I have to tell you, Caitlin, before we sign off yes. Last week, you suggested Jury duty.

00:19:40 - Caitlin Kindred

00:19:41 - Jenny GK
Between our two recordings, I have already watched seven episodes.

00:19:44 - Caitlin Kindred
It's so good.

00:19:46 - Jenny GK
It is good if you're out there and you haven't watched Jury Duty on right.

00:19:52 - Caitlin Kindred
Yeah. Amazon prime. Yeah.

00:19:53 - Jenny GK
Okay. On Amazon Prime yet. You need to watch it. It's definitely not for kids, but that's okay.

00:19:59 - Caitlin Kindred
It is a good choice. That would be making a good choice to watch that.

00:20:03 - Jenny GK
Make good choices.

00:20:04 - Caitlin Kindred
Watch straight.

00:20:05 - Jenny GK

00:20:06 - Caitlin Kindred
And just be good to your competitive kid, because they're probably pretty sensitive. And that's the end of what I have to say. Goodbye. Bye.

3 Things Not to Say to Your Competitive Kid