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As dangerous as these rapid weight-loss practices are for adult athletes, the potential damage to young athletes is even scarier. In some sports, kids as young as eight years old using extreme measures to lose weight before competition.
When I was a kid, like many of my friends I would race home after school so I could change and get outside to play. Our time was, for the most part, totally unstructured, unless you consider being told to "be home when the streetlights go on" as structure. There are many theories as to whether exposing our kids to this type of structure and (arguably) overscheduling is good for them.
The message that we're sending to our children is loud and clear: we want you to excel at sports, so you'd better do it. We want to see you become an athletic star, regardless of your interest (and often skill level). Until we let go of our collective dreams of athletic super-stardom, of touchdowns and home runs, we will continue to negatively affect our children's psyches.
I've been a hockey mom for about five years now. First with my older son who then moved over to speed skating and now with my younger son. Between their two schedules, I'm at a rink a minimum of five times a week. Through the years I've learned a thing or two about how to be an efficient, organized hockey mom and how to stay warm and well-fed while doing it. Here are eight rational rules for the rink to help you make it through hockey season.