I am thankful sports are back after a long 2021 without any activities for kids and limited-contact sports. My sons have been in many different style sports. Football, Baseball, Basketball, Soccer, etc. When they were little it was all about how cute they looked in the oversized jersey, big cleats, and seeing they were just happy to be there, No yelling, no pressure, no drama.
I am now dumbfounded on how parents act. Now when you're reading this you proberly think I am going to go off about the over-competitive parents. The parents who live through their children, the typical sports "dad" you see on the sideline. Well, I am not. The ones who are the worse are the parents are the ones who sign their kids up for a highly competitive, rough, and tough sport. But whenever their children aren't the best on the team, not getting enough playing time, or getting pushed around they email the coach, team, board to complain.
Look our jobs as parents are to protect our kids but it is also our job to teach them to push themselves to be better and do better. The idea of "everyone" getting a trophy is not real. That's setting them up for disaster in the long run. Not everyone's a CEO, not everyone gets the job because their mom called when they know they aren't qualified. Once your kid is in competitive sports they need to hustle, deal with disappointment, and if you want to be the best then work for it. There will always be someone better than you, so work twice as hard and show heart.
Parents are getting too involved. If your kid can dish it out but can't take it that's your fault for not providing them the backbone. My son was pushed around at summer camp this year, once even physically attacked from behind and thrown to the ground. Now before throwing the "bullying" term around, I asked him how he felt and how he reacted. I had a conversion with the summer camp but told my son that he had two choices, you go back with your head high and let them know it was not ok and move on. Hold your ground and tell the summer camp counselors if needed but do not let them see you as weak just because you are kind-hearted you know who you are and it's their issue if they don't like you. Or you go in and avoid them, which means all activities they do you don't.
There are 3 reasons kids are mean to other kids:
Unhappy with themselves
Parents have taught them to be this way
The next Monday he walked in by his choice and walked right up to the kid who attacked him. He told him how he felt and the kid apologized, they moved on. Now they talk and are completely fine with each other.
Another parent had a very similar scenario recently, She handle this much differently, taking video footage, getting coaches removed, players kicked off teams. Her child is sweet but nowhere near innocent, but as a parent, she pulls her kid does no wrong card. Everyone kid does wrong, they are kids, they need to learn how to handle that. They need to be coachable and respect coaches. They need to accept failure and win graciously. What does getting involved in every situation do for your child when will your kid learn how to handle things?
I heard an old saying and has always stuck with me. When you are hired at a nursing home do you know the first thing they tell you? "Don't do anything for anyone they can do themselves" Like if you see someone struggling to eat and bring a spoon to their mouth, don't help them. Because that will be the last time they ever feed themselves.
If you are a parent reading this I ask you to let your kid learn to dissolve their own issues, win their own battles, make big mistakes. Don't interfere with that. And please stop overusing the word bullying, when you do that it loses its power and there are truly many kids that are bullied. But most are not and if our children were taught to handle themselves and have confidence and assurance they would persevere.
** Side note to all you moms and dads out there talking shit about other people's kids and how they play sports or how they getting better playing time. Tell your kid to step up their game or move on to a different sport. Lifes tough it only gets harder***