5 Ways That Sports Parents Annoy Their Young Athletes
Let’s be honest.
If you’re a parent, you know you do things that annoy your child. It probably bugs your kids that you want to know where they are going, who they are hanging with, what their friends are like, and when they will be home. And hopefully, as a parent, you are thinking, that’s just too bad, because those are questions that parents should be asking.
But there are times when parents–and specifically sports parents–annoy their children and it’s totally counterproductive to their goal of raising strong, responsible kids. Instead of helping their children perform better and work harder, it only frustrates them. If you are tempted to annoy your young athletes in one of these five ways, you might consider another way to achieve your parenting goals.
My parents annoy me when.. They nag me about sports
Nagging means you say it more than once or twice or you ask the same questions over and over. Parents do it because they feel it gives them some sense of control. But honestly, it doesn’t. It just causes your kid to tune you out.
They coach me and I haven’t asked them to help
We want to help our kids be the best athletes they can be but sometimes that may not be our job. Our job is to help them be the best human beings they can be. Unless your child asks for your instruction, let coaches work on the athletic skills.
They compare me to other athletes
You may think this will help motivate your young athlete, but it only frustrates and angers them. Encourage their uniqueness. Focus on their strengths.
They are too busy to listen to what I have to say
The opposite of the over-involved, pushy I-don’t-have-a-life sports parent is the parent who has so much going on that they don’t take time to hear about their child’s small victories and seemingly unimportant struggles.
They expect me to do it all
Clean your room. Do your homework. Go to practice. Wash your uniform. Make good grades. Be a starter. We sometimes demand a lot of our kids and I know that we need to teach them life skills so they can grow up to be productive adults, but they are KIDS, not adults, and we cannot put adult-sized expectations upon them.
It’s always good to discuss expectations with your child so that no one is left guessing and disappointed. I always know when I’ve crossed over from being an involved, supportive sports parent to an annoying pushy one by the look on my kids’ faces. In fact, I can almost read their thoughts: Really, Mom?
And so I stop annoying them because it is at that point that I am also annoying myself.