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Tips from Olympic Moms on Helping their Daughters Face Pressures

By Isabel Kallman


Team USA curler Nicole Joraanstad and mom Debra
So you have a daughter competing in the Olympics tonight, like Jody Flatt– mom to figure skater Rachael— does, what do you do to help her from cracking under the pressure of tens of millions of eyeballs watching her every lutz jump?

Carpe diem. That’s right, it’s all about seizing the day.

While we were both hanging in the P&G Beauty & Grooming Salon and Spa, Jody Flatt (she getting ready for her camera close-up tonight while Rachael is on ice) told me this afternoon that her family’s mantra has been to work hard, play harder. And, with that attitude she expects her daughter to be able to live in and enjoy the momentous occasion tonight. Rachael is only a senior in high school, just having been accepted into Stamford last week. What a tremendous month, ay?

US Hockey Team member Molly Engstrom’s mom, Judy, attributes her daughter’s even-keeled and well-grounded temperament as helping her withstand the pressures of competition. Molly learned to be an athlete as she rose through the ranks by working hard. This is Molly’s second Olympic Winter Games experience, though Torino was tough as Molly was injured. This year? It’s all very exciting.

Debra, mom of US curler Nicole Joraanstad told me that she doesn’t talk about anything competition related with her daughter when it’s near game time. She’s learned that that is what Nicole needs. While, Dixie, mom of Allison Baver has found that talking helps her daughter and often finds herself in the role of mom-psychologist to her. And, she loves it!

Bottom line? As with what seems to be everything in parenting… there’s no magic bullet. Know your child. Or, in this case, your Olympian.
Also, while you’re at it. Watch this P&G commercial. It makes every mom I know cry (in a good way):

Disclosure: P&G has flown me to Vancouver and is paying for my stay while here and that includes having attended the ice dancing competition last night. My opinions are my own and have not been paid for whatsoever.

Isabel Kallman
About the Author

Isabel Kallman

Isabel Kallman is the founding mom of

Feel free to send nice emails to isabel[at]alphamom[dot]com.


Isabel Kallman is the founding mom of

Feel free to send nice emails to isabel[at]alphamom[dot]com.

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What a great question to ask. I often wonder how parents can withstand the stress, watching their kids deal with the stress. It’s a stress loop.


You’re right that commercial gets me every time.