Springtime always seems to bring out a competitive nature out in all of us. Maybe it’s because the weather is getting warmer and our kids are fully immersed into spring sports. We all love to cheer on our kids and sometimes can’t help ourselves from cheering when someone on the opposing team misses the ball. Sometimes a line is crossed when you get a parent who goes overboard and constantly verbalizes their negative opinions. The question is, what can be done about parents who yell at refs, lecture coaches or taunt the opposing team?
Participating in team sports is a great way for kids to learn sportsmanship, demonstrate respect for coaches and officials and experience teamwork. As a parent, your children look at your behavior and use it as a guide to follow. Which means, it’s imperative that parents adhere to the values and manners they want to see reflected in their kids.
If another parent is behaving inappropriately and you or others are bothered by it, don’t be afraid to speak up. First, always talk to your children after the game about what would have been a better way for that parent to act or respond. That way they know you think their behavior is unacceptable as well. Next, find a time when the poor sport parent is calm and simply ask them if they would mind keeping their comments to themselves and that how they are behaving is making the kids uncomfortable. I’ve found that many times parents get so caught up in the moment that they don’t even realize what they have said or done. By bringing it to their attention, they usually feel a sense of remorse and fix the problem immediately. So don’t let a poor sport parent ruin the fun, and teach your children the importance of good sportsmanship!