As adults we sometimes make it too difficult for our children to have fun. We should be helping children to learn good etiquette, sportsmanship, and fun. Parents screaming at the umps, yelling at their children, or berating the coaches are not only not fun — but also embarrassing and cause degradation to our children%u2019s self esteem. These effects and emotional scars can last a lifetime.
Sportsmanship and Parenting
Who hasn’t been at a child’s baseball, t-ball, soccer, or for that matter cheerleading competition, gleefully cheering on their children, only to witness embarrassing behavior and even vulgar language coming from another fan? I’m always amazed at the messages sent by adults watching adult sports, but actually shocked when I see some of that same behavior in the stands at a child’s sporting event.
I personally love spring and look forward to baseball games with friends as well as watching children’s’ and adults’ sporting events. As parents, mentors, aunts, uncles, and simply adults, teaching sportsmanship to our children is not only our responsibility to them but to society as a whole.
RJ has posted a video on his blog at: https://www.singledad.com/s/RJ/blog/262/
As part of the on-going series in improving our community and our world, we would like everyone to post good and bad examples that they’ve witnessed on how sportsmanship can be taught to our children. Recently I was at a high school girls’ soccer game where I witnessed a father screaming across the field at his daughter. I also watched as throughout the game the girls’ participation and enthusiasm for the game decreased significantly. It was nothing short of sad to watch her head lower, her shoulders sink, her speed across the field decrease, and her participation shrink to a walk up and down the field. Prior to that, she had been one of the stars of the game. At one point the coach even quietly pulled the father aside to talk to him. It didn’t seem to help. That event has been haunting me ever since because I felt helpless in positively changing the situation. In hindsight, I wish that I had known how to react or what to say that could have made the girl feel better or the father pipe down.
As RJ elaborates in his video, sports are recreation for our kids and recreation is supposed to be fun. As adults we sometimes make it too difficult for our children to have fun. We should be helping children to learn good etiquette, sportsmanship, and fun. Parents screaming at the umps, yelling at their children, or berating the coaches are not only not fun — but also embarrassing and cause degradation to our children’s self esteem. These effects and emotional scars can last a lifetime.
Let’s make it simple. Let’s tell our children it’s just baseball (or soccer, or t-ball, or whatever). Whatever it is, it is all about having fun. If we have fun watching them participate, they will have fun. Playing the game is what should be important. Winning or losing are just an end. In this case the means to the end is more important than the end itself.
Go throw a ball, cheer on your child, cheer on your neighbor’s child (even if they’re on the opposing team) and congratulate all the children who play the game. After the game, please check out RJ’s blog and tell us how you did and what you saw.
Richard “RJ” Jaramillo, is the Founder of SingleDad.com,
a website and social media resource dedicated to single parenting and specifically for the newly divorced, re-married, widowed and single Father with children.
RJ is self employed, entrepreneur living in San Diego and a father of three children. The mission of SingleDad is to help the community of Single Parents
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