GOLDEN RULES FOR PARENTS AT A SPORTING EVENT

  • Talk about the other kids on the team-indeed, on both teams in the same manner you would want other parents to talk about your child. This is the golden rule applied to sports. Watching kid’s sports tends to be a social affair. When you’re making conversation on the sidelines with your friends and neighbors think about what you’re saying before you actually say it. To always be on the safe side, only voice praise for the other children. That way, you’ll never go wrong.
  • It’s nice to give the coach a pat on the back when he wins. It’s even nicer when you give the coach a pat on the back after a loss. Remember that the coaches are volunteers who are sacrificing their own time to help your kid. So give them a well-deserved salute, especially when their team hasn’t fared well that day.
  • Don’t hesitate to give the ref/umpire, a pat on the back either. As you might have guessed, refs/umpires are people too. They like when parent’s and fans acknowledge their on-field efforts as well. Why don’t you lead the way?
  • Remind your child that it’s the effort that counts. We know all the kids want to win. That’s a given. But we also know that for every winning team, there’s also a loser. Be prepared to cushion your child’s disappointment after a loss by pointing out that they played hard and put forth a tremendous effort.
  • Avoid P.G.A. the Post Game Analysis. When the game is over and your child climbs into your car avoid at all costs the detailed excruciating post game analysis of everything he did right or wrong. Just let your child chill out, savor the fun of having played, and relax.
  • The absolute worst time for friendly criticism is immediately after the game.
  • Smile a lot! Kid’s sports are about having fun and because kids take their behavior cues from you, try at least to look like you’re enjoying yourself.
  • If you aren’t a “good sport” at the games, the kids won’t be either. This should be self-evident. If you set a pattern of being a sideline loudmouth who likes to yell and scream at your ref/umpire, coach or opposing team, don’t be surprised when your kids start copying your behavior. You will have only yourself to blame.
  • Take the time to learn the rules of the game. A lot of kids these days are playing sports you may not be familiar with. So, if you don’t know the rules of the game, why don’t you and your child learn them together? Besides, it’s a good idea to read the rulebook. It just might help win a dispute.
  • If your must make noise at the games, shout only praise and encouragement. If you’re a screamer and yeller, make certain that when you open your mouth; you’re only pouring forth cheerful encouragement for your child’s team. There’s never any place for derogatory, snide or sarcastic comments at kid’ games.

Above all, be there for your children. Support them, praise them, and let them know you can always be counted on for unconditional love, regardless of the final score.