I remember when our older kids were playing sports, observing the behavior of other parents. Our kids played a variety of sports and with the older two, we were new to the Kids and Sports scene.  We taught our kids to be competitive and that the goal was to win, but to win or loose with dignity.  Don’t be a poor winner or looser.  If your kids play sports, you see it all and you know what I’m talking about.  You realize that all of these kids are learning and figuring it all out.  No one wants to loose and some kids are more competitive than others.  We would tell our kids to congratulate the winner (if they lost) and shake hands. We gave them a little time to cool down and then it was OVER.  Some looses were harder to accept than other, but still, at some point, you need to move on. When I saw an athlete over react or poorly react, I often just considered the kids to be very competitive and although I may not have liked the behavior, I realize that learning how to be competitive and handle their emotions. 

For the Parents who misbehave, in my mind, there is no excuse. I saw a variety of very interesting parental behavior, from a mother who went onto a tennis court to chew out her daughter’s opponent, a dad who let a ref have it when he thought a bad call was made on his son, and parents pull their child out of an athletic program when their kid wasn’t promoted to an advanced class when the performance didn’t measure up.  We all love our kids and want the best for them.  However, at some point, a parent needs to consider what lessons they are teaching their children with THEIR adult behaviors.  As parents sometimes we need to speak up for our kids and go to bat for them, we are their advocates, of course.  However, reacting or criticizing a coach, other parent or someone else’s child, stop and count to 10 or at least make sure you know exactly what is going on.  Ask yourself is this really worth it?  Sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t.  Remember, you’ll have to see these people next week and depending on how old your kids are, maybe for the rest of your kids public school career.  This weekend I ran in to a mother who had pulled some “Monkey Business” when our kids were in high school playing sports. The parent had made a complete fool of them self in this situation, in fact when it all went down, I was embarrassed for her.  The parent I saw may have well forgotten the incident, but all these years later, I remembered it when I saw her.  She most likely has moved on since then, maybe even learned from the situation herself. She had not only made herself look stupid, she had embarrassed her child and her spouse.  Her child wasn’t the problem, she was. Sometimes our kids make mistakes. Address it, make sure they understand the problem, they need to apologize and then let it go.  When you kid is the problem, don’t back up the bad behavior.  You are teaching them that even when they are wrong, you’ll go to bat for them.   Pull your child out of the situation, teaching them that their bad behavior will not be tolerated and address the concern immediately with appropriate consequenses.  Don’t let it go.  Handling it at the time may curb bad behavior and later embarrassments for themselves.  Realize that sometimes kids mess up and value taking the time to teach more appropriate behavior.  Remember you are responsible for your child’s behavior only, let the other parent, or coach address that.  So many good lessons to be learned from playing sports, lessons that may not come up otherwise, leading to many…Great Days 🍎