Judy Murray urged parents to encourage their children to follow their dreams as she backed a charity that provides school meals in some of the world’s poorest countries.
The tennis coach said she is a “big fan” of Mary’s Meals, which feeds more than 1.6 million children every school day in 18 countries around the globe.
The charity is celebrating the role of mothers in the run up to Mother’s Day on March 22 and is asking supporters to send a Mother’s Day gift card of £15.90, which will feed a child for a whole school year.
Mrs Murray, mother of tennis stars Jamie and Andy, said she thinks one of the key parts of being a parent is creating opportunities for your children while letting them learn from their mistakes.
She told the PA news agency: “I think you give them wings so they can fly.
“You create the environment for them to thrive and that environment changes at every step of the journey.
“You have to help them develop independence, responsibility, keeping their feet on the ground, all the good values in life and help them to develop their life skills that will stand them in good stead as they progress towards adulthood.
“You are always having to learn what is the next step, what do they need?”
She added: “You have to understand that at some point they are going to fly the nest, usually when they go off to school but there is a lot of helicopter parenting goes on now and for me, you have to give them the independence that they need, let them make their own decisions, let them make their own mistakes, pick themselves up after mistakes, because the success parts are the easy parts.”
While her sons have gone on to have successful careers on the tennis court, initially Murray just wanted them to be active and enjoying the fresh air.
She said: “I’m a huge believer in the power of sport in terms of overall development of young people.
“My kids both went on to have careers in sport but when they were little I just wanted them to enjoy sport and being outdoors and sport was something that we could do together as a family.
“It’s about encouraging them to have goals, have dreams and we are there as parents to support them .
“It’s the unconditional love that comes of being a parent.”
In more ways than one, mums make Mary’s MealsDaniel Adams, Mary's Meals
Murray believes Andy’s older brother Jamie may also have played a part in his younger sibling’s success.
She said: “For Andy having an older brother who was a bit bigger and stronger I think that was a lot to do with how he became uber-competitive because he always wanted to beat Jamie.
“But he never feared anything because Jamie always did it before him, Jamie led the way.”
Daniel Adams, UK executive director of Mary’s Meals, urged people to support the charity as it celebrates the role of mothers in its work.
He said: “In more ways than one, mums make Mary’s Meals.
“From the loving volunteers who prepare the food, to our dedicated supporters here in the UK who give so much, each and every little act of motherly love is cause for celebration.
“Our Mother’s Day gift card will feed a hungry child for a whole school year, meaning you can show your appreciation for the amazing women in your life while helping to feed hungry children.
“What a beautiful gift to give.”