Every time you go to a sporting event to watch your child play, there’s a good chance that you’ll feel a strange metamorphosis take place within you. In a way, it’s almost as if an alien takes over your body. Your calm gives way to crazy and you are not even sure how or why it happens. Why is this so?
How is it that perfectly sane, under-control parents lose their cool so easily in the arena of youth sports and competition? In an effort to help you understand yourself and learn how to calm the crazy, I’d like to suggest 10 reasons why the transformation takes place.
Because you want your child to succeed where you didn’t
Otherwise known as living vicariously through your child.
Because you want your child to succeed where you did
Please remember that your child is not your clone and just may want to carve his or her own path.
Because you feel that your child’s situation is not fair
Fair is a very subjective term. What you call unfair may make total sense to your child’s coach. Before you go throwing any regrettable words around, you might want to learn more about the situation.
Because your child is not getting enough playing time
This may or may not also fall into the “unfair” category, but it definitely deserves extra attention because it’s probably the biggest cause for conflict in youth sports. No parent enjoys seeing their child sit on the bench too long. However, if your kids are little, you’re certainly justified in your frustration.
Because you don’t agree with the coach’s strategy
And you don’t have to. But if you’re going to make a fuss about it, you should probably be willing to volunteer to help out yourself.
Because you can’t stand the officials’ calls
For some reason, we have no problem yelling at officials when we don’t agree with their calls — which is actually very odd when you think about it. Do you yell at everyone you don’t agree with? Managers? Waiters? The banker at the drive-thru? Your child’s teacher? Where do you draw the line?
Because you feel your child isn’t trying hard enough
Newsflash: yelling at your kids from the stands isn’t going to motivate them to work harder. In fact, it will only embarrasses them.
Because you want your child to make you proud
If your child’s performance in a game is the only reason you are proud of him, it’s time to re-adjust your thinking. You should be proud of your child no matter how he plays. Don’t attach your ego to his execution.
Because you want your child to have success
Watching your kid succeed is rewarding and will undoubtedly bring you great joy. But success actually can take many forms, so don’t limit your definition to only include wins, awards, high scoring, or good stats. Broaden it to include progress, character growth, leadership, and teamwork.
Because you love your child very much
Finally, I’m going to assume the best and say that this reason is the root of all the reasons mentioned above. Your love for your kids can sometimes motivate you to do crazy things, but it’s important to remember that it isn’t an excuse for bad behavior.
It may be that you’ll leave the game and then return to normal, leaving your crazy behind until next time. But what happens at the game does not always stay at the game. It helps to remember this: Never do something permanently foolish because you are temporarily upset.
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