parents gone wild at kids sports games

Kat - posted on 06/23/2015 ( 3 moms have responded )

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I am writing a story about parent behavior at soccer and baseball games that includes tips for parents on how to be a good spectator. Has anyone had a bad experience about innappropriate behavior on the sidelines they could share with me?Thanks

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Raye - posted on 06/24/2015

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And, as Jodi said, we should cheer and keep the spirits of our player up so they can go out at each new inning/quarter/ whatever and give their best instead of getting beat down by the negativity and not having any willpower to continue to try. Anger may be a motivator for some to go out and try to beat their opponent, but believing in one's self is a better way to go about it and they have more fun that way. Because, hey, they are still kids.

Raye - posted on 06/24/2015

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The parents should be involved in discussing the game with the child and letting them know that sometimes bad calls are made and not to get discouraged. If the kid sees their parent get angry and throwing punches, then that tells them it's okay to do the same. We played against one basketball team that had really aggressive kids, and the parents were also really aggressive. So they are only mimicking the behavior that they see and believe it's okay. It's not.... for kids or parents.

My advice would be not to take things so seriously. It's a game. The kids are learning and putting forth the effort, and that's the most important thing. Yes, we all want our kid's team to win. But learning how to be a gracious loser is a win in the behavior department. Life is not all puppies and rainbows. There's a lot of disappointment that we deal with in life, and learning coping skills early on is vital to a happier adulthood.

Jodi - posted on 06/24/2015

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I had my daughter (about 3 at the time) hiding behind me once because a parent was going off at a ref at soccer and started a punch up. A number of parents stepped in to break it up, but honestly, it was a soccer match for 10 year olds. That's just ridiculous

That particular parent ended up banned from all future matches.

All I can say is that it sets really bad examples of sportsmanship to our kids. It is our job to be good sporstmen/women off the field too. Show our children that we should cheer to support our child/team, but we should also acknowledge when the other team does well. Booing at the other team kicking goals, to me, is also bad sportsmanship. Sure, you don't have to cheer as loud, but a little acknowledgement through applause is not going to kill you!

Kids need to also learn that sometimes the refs get it wrong, and in those moments, while you can protest, there are respectful ways to do that. And if it doesn't go your way, suck it up and move on. Next time it may go against the other team.

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