Kids are great.
Unless they're little jerk faces.
Last Sunday as I walked into the locker room after my 6-year old's hockey game, I thought I'd find Brayden all smiles. After all, he just got to play his first official full ice game. Something he's been saying he "can't wait" to do all season.
Since he's a Mite and we follow USA Hockey's American Development Method (ADM). All of his games to this point have been half ice. But on Sunday the team he played messed up their ice time schedule and didn't have time to put up the half ice boards. So the kids got to play full ice.
Instead of finding a smiling and excited kid, I found Brayden sitting over his hockey bag with his head down as he took off his gear.
"That was pretty cool, eh bud? How was playing full ice?" I asked.
"Bad." Brayden answered and sounded angry.
"What do you mean? What happened?" I asked.
"Some kid, when we were shaking hands, said, 'In your face!'" Brayden explained.
Use Jerks To Teach Kids What Not To Do
I explained to Brayden that he can't let classless jerks ruin fun things for him. Then I took the opportunity to have him think about his feelings and learn why we don't act like that.
"Do you see how that kid made you feel? That's why we don't do that kind of stuff when we win. Right?" I said.
A Classless Winner
As I helped Brayden take off his skates and gear, I kept thinking about that kid. The more I thought about it, the more it bugged me. Brayden wasn't upset that his team lost the game. He never mentioned that once. He was just upset about what that kid said to him. That kid took all the fun out of the game.
These kids are six, seven and eight years old, and some of them are classless winners already?
I don't get people that can't win with class. It's like they get more joy out of other people's disappointment than out of their own achievement.
Not The First Time
This wasn't the first time one of my boys has told me about kids on other teams talking trash or just being flat out bullies. I remember over the summer, Gehrig, my 9-year old, told me about this kid he played roller hockey against. He said that when they lined up for the faceoff, the kid said, "Let's go bitch."
And earlier this ice hockey season Gehrig told me about a couple different kids. One who was skating around shouting, "Eff you, mother effers!" And another who was punching kids in the stomach as their teams were lined up and shaking hands at the end of the game.
Again, these kids are nine years old! Can you imagine what they're going to be like when they're teenagers? Holy cow.
A Sore Loser
Unless he's doing a "look at me" dance or hot dogging it somehow, a classless winner can be difficult to pick out from the stands. A sore loser, on the other hand, stands out like a turd in a kiddie pool.
I think we've both seen these kids. They're the ones who throw water bottles on the sidelines, slam their sticks down when the other team scores, toss their bat when they strike out, kick things in the locker room after a loss.
Nobody wants to see their kid display that kind of behavior.
So that brings me to a question I've been asking myself, that I now turn to ask you...
Would You Rather Your Kid Be A Classless Winner Or A Sore Loser?
You're not allowed to say, "Neither." That's too easy and not any fun. You have to choose one.
Give your choice and reasons why in the comments or Share on Facebook & let your friends know your answer.
This should be fun! :>)
Thanks for reading,
Kevin Duy is a Sports Dad of three boys and writes about sports parenting.