Accountability – Even for high paid athletes

Parents, Rules Were Broken – Consequences Were Given; Even for an Athlete!!

In the day and age we are in where athletes (pro and college) and movie stars appear to be “untouchable”, a coach and team took a stand this week! Under the leadership of the new head coach, Leslie Fraizer, the Minnesota Vikings released their Pro Bowl offensive linesman, Bryant McKinnie. Finally, the overpaid athlete is held accountable for his actions.

*** “Living Large” didn’t Pay in this Case ***

McKinnie has been a thorn in the Vikings side for years, with a number of off the field transgressions. However, these transgressions were virtually ignored and he continued to receive top money for subpar performance.

Well, things have definitely changed under a new coaching regime. When McKinnie showed up in training camp weighing in at nearly 400 pounds and clearly not in condition/out of shape, the Vikings had enough and McKinnie was released from the team.

Coach Fraizer set the tone early on that he will be willing to sacrifice victories and perhaps even his long term future as the Viking coach in order to instill his culture of accountability. This sends a clear message to his team that players will be held accountable for their actions (or in McKinnie’s case lack of actions!)

*** Parents – Take Note! ***

Parents of teens should take to heart what Coach Fraizer is doing with his team. Parents must hold their teens accountable for their actions – no matter how painful that may be. They must remember that their role is to be their parent and NOT their friend. Empty threats will go nowhere with teens, and they will continue with their unwelcome behavior if they have proof and evidence that they can “get away with it”

Follow Coach Frazier’s example and, more importantly, follow through on the consequences with your teen including removing privileges including, only to name a few:

=> phone/texting

=> use of your car

=> access to internet (other than schoolwork)

=> reduction of their allowance

=> reduced time with friends

*** Again – Remember – you are their Parent, not their Friend

Although I’m sure this will result in an unhappy teen and some not so pleasant moments at the dinner table, holding your teen accountable will teach them some lifelong lessons. They need to understand that they cannot just do what they want and that there are consequences for all of their actions.

Bottom Line: Parents – do NOT let guilt and pity allow you to forget that your number ONE role is that of your teen’s parent and educator. With such ‘cool’ conversations and with so much fun to be had, how can you not be friends with your teen? Well, it’s NOT “cool” to be their friend; it is vital that you are their parent. It is not “cool” to teach them that they can get away with anything. At some point (in the “real world”) they will learn the cold hard lessons of life. This type of thinking will cost you, them and their kids of the future problems. Holding them accountable now will teach them valuable skills that will help them deal with the roadblocks they may face in life. And can you have FUN and still be a “cool” parent while holding them accountable… YOU BET!


Let’s ‘parent with intent’ and set the tone that we will follow through on consequences.
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Coach Nakumbe’s Parent Roundtable:

  1. A safe place where all parents achieve great parenting and personal success – free from judgment, shame and guilt.
  2. A place where parents are encouraged to be their authentic selves.
  3. A place where parents grow and develop socially, emotionally, cognitively and spiritually.
  4. A place where parents feel confidant that their views are not just listened to, but heard and respected.
  5. A place where parents learn to respond instead of react
  6. A place where parents know how to take responsibility – not just place blame.
  7. A place called Coach Nakumbe’s Parent Roundtable – a place for every parent of an addicted or at-risk teen!