Roller Derby Parenting — For Friends With Grown Children

Many of my old Youth Group “kids” are not kids anymore. Many of my peers aren’t aging, yet their children seem to be maturing — or matriculating, it’s one of those. As I think about all those  people, with great children, I want to tell you about a metaphor I use with clients about generations in the family.

I don’t know how many of you remember Roller Derby, but when I was kid, I and my friend Greg Ralph watched it all the time. For those of you unfamiliar, Roller Derby was sort of like Pro Wrestling on Wheels — melodrama as sport. You had “good” people and “evil” people. Raquel Welch portrayed a Roller Derby Skater in the movie Kansas City Roller (yes, I am dating myself there) if you want to see the game being played.

In any case, a team scored points based on how many of them could get past the opposing team as they went around the oval skater’s track. All of this is context to tell you this:

The way a team often scored would be through this thing called “The Whip” for the leader to go as far as they could, then stop, and holding hands, the leader would whip the other players past them. That is how I think parenting should be done. You go as far as you can in life, then you stop and pull your child(ren) past you. As long as you can do this, you’re a successful parent. It doesn’t have to be, but it can be, financially that a child surpasses their parents. It can be emotional intelligence. It can be education. It can be just plain old happiness.

Whatever we lacked in our own lives — stability, safety, faith —  we need to go as far as we can to overcome it, then stop and have our children go by us. That is how we score points for ourselves as parents. If you’ve managed that, you’ve done your job.

(We all get our inspiration from somewhere… that’s mine).




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