Is Simone Biles Setting a Bad Example for Kids?

The “Over Optimization” of Children

So you’re thinking maybe Simone Biles set a bad example for your kid by pulling out of the Olympics?

That’s the topic in this Tips on Teens video, and (spoiler alert) we think Simone Biles is setting a great example for kids!

Parents generally want to “optimize” our children. We want our kids to do well in school. They have to exercise or play a sport. Rehearsing for piano or band or whatever it may be is non-negotiable. We want them to be great artists, have a social life, eat healthy, get enough sleep, and a lot of other things.

But how does your kid fit that all into a 24 hour day? Most of the time they can’t! So what does a kid sacrifice when they are spread so thin that they can’t do everything you want them to do?

Kids Don’t Always Know Their Limits

As an adult, it’s probably a lot easier for you to recognize your limits than it is for your kid or teenager. Kids who don’t recognize their limits often get to college and burn out. Or worse, they turn to other things like drugs and sex to cope.

Help your kid recognize their own limits. Talk about it with them from a place of support, not a place of judgement or anger. Your child doesn’t need to be a decorated concert pianist or Olympian to have a happy life. Want to hear more? Check out this Tips on Teens video in which Kent responds to this question:

“I know Simone Biles has been getting a lot of praise for pulling out of the Olympics, but I’m concerned about the example it sets for my daughter. She’s pursuing a certificate of merit in piano, and I’m worried that she might be getting the wrong message. I want my kid to be tough and resilient when the going gets tough, and I’m afraid that Simone Biles is setting an example that it’s okay to quit when you feel stress or pressure. I’m a big fan of Simone and I want to be supportive, but how do I do it and make my kid realize she has to push through adversity and not give up?”

Clinical Director Kent Toussaint answers your parenting questions every Wednesday at 12:00pm in our weekly segment Tips On Teens on Facebook Live. Have questions about parenting kids and teens? Send them to: We love to hear from you!

Head on over to our Facebook page every Wednesday at 12:00pm to watch LIVE!  Check out our page here –

If you have more questions or would like more information, please contact our Clinical Director, Kent Toussaint at 818.697.8555.

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