Pro Athletes’ Kids: Price of Privilege

Pro Athletes’ Kids: Price of Privilege
photo: David Amsler, Creative Commons
photo: David Amsler, Creative Commons

It is often the case that a pro athlete’s kids are afforded special opportunities, luxuries, and privileges as a result of their father’s (or mother’s) enormous salaries. This may include having most of their material desires met, attending the most expensive schools, and traveling and participating in other activities without limit. This affluent lifestyle may come at a price for a pro athlete’s kids.

In some situations, poor psychological development can be the price of privilege.  

An affluent lifestyle can create a number of situations that are risk factors:

  • Emotional and physical isolation from the professional athlete
  • Over-involvement with athlete’s spouse (usually the wife)
  • Pressure to succeed academically or in their extracurricular activity
  • Materialism
  • Perfectionism
  • “Unlimited” access to money

As a result, the children of professional athletes can wind up dealing with any or all of these mental health issues:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Substance Abuse
  • Eating Disorders
  • Self-harm
  • Promiscuity
  • Suicide

Because of this correlation, it’s important to keep an eye out for symptoms that may be warning signs of a deeper psychological issue:

  • Failing grades
  • Withdrawal
  • Acting out
  • Unhappy
  • Disconnected
  • Passive

If you notice any of these symptoms in your child, you should consider consulting with a mental health professional.

 

Porsha Williams, LAMFT

Pwilliams@ GROWcounseling.com

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