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Birmingham, Mich.— May 15, 2015 — As Father’s Day quickly approaches and families take to outdoor activities, Michael Miletic, M.D., founder of Birmingham-based Integrated Health Systems (IHS), a medical clinic focusing on the entire person and bringing the mind and body into balance using functional psychiatry for optimal physical and emotional health and performance, has advice for parents on kids and sports: focus on coaching childhood, not a specific sport.
“How many times do we see parents running along the sideline at their child’s soccer game telling them to run faster, kick the ball harder and shoot?” Dr. Miletic said. “While most parents mean well by becoming immersed in their child’s sport, this extreme enthusiasm can actually do more harm than good for the child’s development in the sport, and also the parent/child relationship.”
Dr. Miletic says it is important for parents to be involved and show interest in their child’s sports and other extra-curricular activities, but childhood development needs to be the priority regardless of the child’s environment or particular activity.
“Parents need to focus on the child’s entire development, not just exclusively in the arena of sports,” Dr. Miletic said. “Let the child’s coach be hyper-focused on instructing the child on the technique and skills of a specific sport. As the parent, encourage and support the child but don’t allow the outcome of a game to overshadow the entire development of the child.”
Dr. Miletic says using words of encouragement and congratulating the child on their participation will have a more positive, longer lasting impact on their overall development.
“Avoid the temptation to focus on your son or daughter’s performance. If your child wins, by all means congratulate them on this success,” Dr. Miletic said. “However, even if the child doesn’t win, reflect on their participation, hard work and dedication to the sport. Don’t critique a specific pass in the game or missed shot – that is the coach’s job. Focusing on the aspects of a child’s participation in a sport that translates into other areas of life strengthens and enhances the relationship between child and parent. A parent who only critiques a child’s abilities on the soccer field will only know how to critique the child in other facets of their life, such as school work. This singular focus does not lead to a healthy outcome for the child or the parent.”
Dr. Miletic adds that parents should use this child development-centric approach not only for athletics but also academics, the arts and other areas of interest to their child.
“Parenting is not about creating stand out athletes, scholars or performers,” Dr. Miletic said. “It’s about developing a child’s potential to excel at life and be a contributing member of society. The best way to do that is to nurture the child’s happiness and joy and create a space for their exuberance in any activity – and share in it with them as appropriate.”
Dr. Miletic is board certificated in psychiatry and neurology from Wayne State University’s medical school. A former Canadian Olympic weightlifting champion who won silver and gold medals in the early 1980s, Dr. Miletic uses his personal athletic experiences, coupled with his training as a physician, to identify and treat both physical and mental health and mental performance issues of elite athletes, as well as adolescents and weekend athletes.
To learn more about IHS, visit www.integratedhealthsystems.net.
About Integrated Health Systems (IHS)
Founded in 2015 by Michael Miletic, M.D., Integrated Health Systems (IHS) offers a multidisciplinary approach to health, focusing on the entire person and including all systems of the body and brain, as well as processes that may stress those systems. Using functional psychiatry, the integrated approach of IHS brings the mind and body into balance to prevent disease, combat physical and emotional illness and maintain wellness. Learn more about IHS at www.integratedhealthsystems.net.