Rosie MacLennan is a name you’ll want to follow at the Summer 2016 Olympics in Rio. Competing for Canada as a trampoline gymnast, Rosie has several medals and accomplishments behind her (2013 World Trampoline champion, 2012 Olympic champion and 2011 and 2015 Pan American Games champion in the individual trampoline event) making her not only a fan favorite but a hopeful contender for bringing home the gold for Canada this summer.
The latest #ThankYouMom video from P&G focus on, as they have for previous Olympic games, the mothers of our athletes. I’ve mentioned before how much I love the attention P&G gives to these moms. Rosie MacLennan herself is one of the proud athletes that P&G is sponsoring. She and her mom, Jane, are partnered with Tide and – of course – they’ve used the product for years in their household as well, making it an easy and seamless brand match.
Jane recently sat down to answer some questions about the partnership, raising an Olympian in Rosie, and her thoughts on Rio 2016! Here are some highlights:
On recognizing talent:
Every child has talents. It is the parent’s responsibility to open doors to explore/try many activities. Let the child decide what she wants to pursue. Children have their own dreams; they are not here to fulfill our dreams.
We advised our kids: Chase your dream; enjoy the journey.
On sacrifices made to achieve success:
The largest sacrifice for me was my decision to leave my career in management consulting to takeover the job of Mom. The demands on the home front with four children required a parent full time to assure that they had access to the best academic, social and athletic pursuits. There were life lessons and values we wanted to instil which required a “Mom/Dad” to be there daily.
Let me add that it has also been the most rewarding decision to see our children grow up firsthand to become successful adults.
On multitasking academics and athletics:
She has always had to balance her athletics with her academics. We always said that sport was her hobby but school her career. She had to keep her marks high to be able to take so much time off school. Often it has given her time management issues. She has worked to become more efficient in her use of time so that she meets all her deadlines and goals. She has also learned to set priorities.
I knew early on in this interview that I would like Jane MacLennan. I love how she pointed out that parents are not here to fulfill our dreams, as I’m sure many parents of athletes and successful children have to deal with critics saying that (to be fair, I’m sure they’ve also encountered parents who do fit that profile, yikes!)
On busy households with multiple children in activities (Jane has four children total):
Every season I set the schedule based on what activities they wanted to do and when classes were available. The rule was that they had to finish the session for everything they started. Then if they wanted they could change to something else.
They all competed in many sports: trampoline, skiing, gymnastics, and dance. So they learned multitasking and prioritizing from a very early age. Eventually they each narrowed their choices down to begin focusing on their passions.
I know many parents can relate to this approach, our household included. My kids “sport-sample”, the try a variety of sports and activities and so far only 1 is specializing in anything which, in our household, means doing the same activity for more than two years (that would be my son with football). My girls (8 and 5) love gymnastics and trampoline so you never know where it may lead them, should they continue (so far, so good!)
Her advice for parents starting the journey with their kids, either in competitive sports or specializing:
You don’t start raising an Olympian – you start with sports to teach life skills, get socialization, interaction, physical activity & most importantly, to have fun.
Open many doors and encourage your kids to dream big. Support them on the journey and realize the true value comes from the journey, not the medals.
You’re the good stuff, Jane MacLennan! Thank you for sharing your insight and family with us, and congratulations on all your success, mama! We’ll be watching Rosie this summer!
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