Sunday, October 30, 2011

How parents should NOT act at their children's sporting events

I am going to use an example from when The Diva was a cheerleader, on how parents should NOT act at their children's sporting events.

We were at the final game for their division. The game was pretty intense, but the opposing team was definitely going to lose. There were some calls by the referees that the parents of the opposing team did not agree with. The coach of the opposing team did not agree with some of them either. There was much screaming by these adults in the middle of the field. Police were brought in. These parents were escorted out (football is serious business, yo) In the meantime, the coach of the opposing team came marching all the way across the field and bashed our coach in the face with a helmet. Cue much more outrage by the parents. Ok seriously? what did you teach the kids you are coaching here? I mean other than how to be a douche? Our coach wiped the blood off his face from his broken nose, and stayed calm (I still do not know HOW) and got back to business. Police came back in, arrested opposing coach, game commensed, opposing team lost. Our coach told me later that yes, he wanted to kick the other coach's ass, but he couldn't do it with "his kids" watching. He is my hero. THAT is the way to teach your kids how to behave at children's sporting events.

Now, this game was in a town I was not familiar with, and I did not realize I parked on the WAY wrong side of the school. I was walking back to my car with my daughter, and two other cheerleaders I was giving rides home (I was a coach, this was not unsual for me to take multiple cheerleaders to their houses after a game). I apparently parked on the side where all the parents from opposing team parked. Crap. And this is where I had to be the bigger person, shut my mouth (which as you know is hard for me to do), and set an example to these girls on how parents
should act at children's sporting events. This walk through the parking lot felt like it took an hour, though it was just a few minutes. These outraged parents were screaming obsenities at us, saying our team had cheated (seriously? how can you cheat at a VERY closely refereed game?) and started throwing shit at us. I am not going to lie, it took every ounce of strength I owned to not stop in my tracks and say something, but as I said, these parents were prime examples of how NOT to act, and I had to show these girls how you SHOULD act. We did get to the car safely, though one asshat tried to bash my windshield in with I can't even remember what it was, and I had a very long talk with these girls about what happened both on the field, and in the parking lot on the way home.

Now I have been to many, many different sporting events not just for my children, but for friend's children, nieces/nephews, etc. I think I have seen it all. I have seen everything from the ex-wife/current wife getting in to a screaming match and almost ready to let the fists fly until they get pulled apart, to the parents who demean their child for not performing up to their standards.

The demeaning parents are the ones that piss me off the most. Just because you couldn't/didn't/whatever do said sport, does not mean that your child needs to, nor does it mean your child should perform to your standards. What happened to when we put our children in sports for FUN? When your child is standing on the sidelines, or in the dugout, crying because YOU just reamed him for not performing to your expectations or for making an error, then you are an absolute failure as a parent. Kids make mistakes. Kids should do sports for fun. If your child is out there crying because of you, then your child is not having fun.

You are usually the parent who signs the child up for said sport, knowing he/she didn't want to do it in the first place, or is not physically up to it. Before you sign any child up for any sport, you should talk to your child about what this sport will involve, and hey even try ASKING if they even want to do it? and if you do get your child involved in sports, which is fabulous, don't be a failure of a parent by demeaning the child by screaming, yelling, or talking down to them either on OR off the field. Not only are you setting a bad example, but you are giving the child a very poor image of themselves. So when that child grows up to have self image problems, be sure to pat yourself on the back for a job well done.

If you have been guilty of any of the above, you are a failure of a parent. if this post pisses you off, then you are a failure of a parent because it hit a nerve. why would it hit a nerve....well just let me sit back and think about that......

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