The times created the conditions. The conditions drove the need. And the need forced the action. There is nothing better than when a plan comes together. All in the name of a stimulus check.

From my perspective, the checks themselves should be far more frequent. They will always be helpful, will seldom lead to a negative outcome, and will generally correlate with improving our lot in life. Yes, more is better. Keep them coming!

To set the record straight, we are not referring to that stimulus check. Not the one approved by our legislative branch and deposited into our bank accounts. While that one certainly is needed and has a positive impact on our recently challenged financial statements, this one is entirely different.

No, this stimulus check relates to us right here at home. And it ties to how we as parents view sports and parenting.

When was the last time we asked ourselves what stimulates us regarding our children’s sports involvement? Or perhaps differently, why are we so stimulated by their success or failure?

After all, do they live and die by the results of our efforts? Do they follow us around, dwelling on our success at work or in the community? Do they cling to our involvement in our hobbies?

Picture them sitting along the side of the pond praying dad will nab a fish with each and every cast. When the line returns with nothing but a hook, does a little part of your child die with the perceived impact on dad’s fragile psyche?

How about mom? When you head off to hit tennis balls with your friend group, do your kids show up with their lawn chairs clinging to your every move? Do they shout, “it’s ok mommy” when you miss a wide-open forehand down the line? Do your children get angry at the group coordinator for not allowing you to play more? And are they in an extra good mood at home whenever you play a strong game leading you to wonder why they care so much about an activity that does not involve them?

Of course, the answer to all these questions is no. They understand your activities are yours. While they may ask questions and have some interest, they know without question this is your world and your life to live. They have a healthy, balanced perspective on these matters.

Thus, the analysis would tell us our kids have no need for a stimulus check. They are in balance. Everything checks out. They are good to go.

It’s ok, youngsters. You are just as well off without it. Let’s leave this one to your moms and dads.

So, what about us? What about our need for a stimulus check? What is it? How do we cash it?

Simple! Stop and consider our role in our children’s lives. Execute a self-check on what stimulates us as it relates to their activities. And ask why it stimulates us.

Ask if our children’s activities are resulting in a healthy level of stimulus within us. Are we sensing too much involvement in their world? Is it taking on an importance unnatural for our role?

Is there a sense we are saying and doing things that are not consistent with our position as parent and mentor? Is there a sense our child’s development will be negatively impacted by not making a team or being a reserve instead of a starter? Do we view their success or lack thereof as a reflection on us?

Are we able to attend a child’s event and have a fun, social experience, chatting with fellow parents and generally enjoying our involvement while our child enjoys their own? Or is there something inside us stimulating us toward needing more for our child?

With all that considered, we should ask ourselves if action is needed to shift the stimulus back to our child, back to the place it belongs, in the hands of the participant, on the stick of the athlete who can impact the result with their effort, training, and a healthy outlook, on the plate of the one who can learn from the experience and gain perspective for their future.

And, remember, this is a check, not a notice of non-payment. It is not a letter from the Internal Revenue Service advising funds are due. It is not judgment of our performance.

It is an opportunity for self-assessment toward positive change, a need within all of us as none are void of the opportunity to improve and grow.

So, count me in on the stimulus checks. No doubt they are healthy. And, as we look for win-wins in life, with our kids, our family, and our community, there is no better example than this one. Who would have thought such a simple concept had the potential to drive such positive change?

Bill Barry is a North Kingstown resident. He writes about the local sports scene, sports parenting and more in a regular column.

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