When my son was about three months old,
my husband brought home a tiny football jersey for him. I guess most dads dream
of their kid being a football or baseball star someday, but at the time it was just another cute shirt to put on our son. Little did I know.
Flash-forward to our son playing
on tons of sports teams. He excelled at soccer, hated baseball (too slow for his liking),
excelled at golf, but gave it up years later for the faster paced hockey. Along the way, I noticed "those" intense parents on the sidelines. You know, the
ones who yell at their kid and scream at other children that aren't even their
own. I would watch them and think, wow, how in the world did they get like
Sure we've all heard about it, read
about it, and seen YouTube videos that make it to the nightly news. We all know instinctively it's not okay to behave like that. So what
exactly drives a parent to get this overly frustrated and intense at a child's
sports game? And how do we make sure we don't become one of them?
1. Avoid the crazy
I've noticed my husband likes to
stand far away from every parent. He says it helps him keep from getting into
any "problems" with highly intense parents. So, obviously that's what works for
2. Make sure you're not the crazy
For me, I think what's worked has
been to notice which parents are the crazy parents. If you don't see any, you
might want to check and be sure it’s not you. Sometimes taking a step back is
all that's needed.
3. Follow the calm
It's also good to notice which
parents are the most mellow. Are you like them? And if not, how come? Try and
pick up some of their behaviors if you're not naturally calm at your child's
game. Remember, birds of a feather. And when it comes to youth sports, flock
with the calm ones.
4. Remember why the kids are playing
Really, the important thing to remember
is that we're there for our kids. We're there to help them learn a sport, get
some exercise, learn about teamwork and have fun. Sometimes parents forget this.
Our kids today are growing up in a
very fast-paced, success-oriented world. Youth sports should be the one place where
they don't feel like they need to achieve anything. If they're going to be the
next Heisman Trophy or Stanley Cup winner, there's plenty of time for that. I for one, want to be the parent that lets my
kid learn the love of a sport. And so far, I've seen that he's excelling because