It happens every year and by now it shouldn't upset me but it always does. When parents think that a child's success in sports is the end all be all.
I sat at the season opener for my son's Under 10 Soccer League, lots of parents cheering, the kids were excited in their new uniforms. I was standing (I can never sit down when my kids play) next to an older lady who said her granddaughter was playing on my sons team.
The game started and the kids were having fun while the parents cheered.
Then the guy enters.
He is the father of the older ladies granddaughter. From the second he gets here, he has this look of disgust on his face and begins screaming at his daughter to run faster, try harder, help her teammates out.
By the second half, the girl is winded and holding her stomach from cramps, still not a positive word or comment from dad. Only the comments on her performance which was not up to dad's MLS standards.
I began to ponder if this idiot knew the effect he would have on his daughter. A lot of men I talk to can relate to this type of "encouragement" The have fond memories of their fathers yelling at them or berating them for a sports performance.
And for what?
Many things are important and critical in life.
The outcome of a child's sporting event is not.
Luckily, grandma had enough and finally gave her son some parental wisdom stating something to the effect of "All you are doing is tearing your daughter down and looking like a bad father."
The father stopped and the next time I saw him, he was much better and more encouraging.
As parents we have to look at everything we do and ask ourselves
"Is this better equipping my children for the future?"
"Does this really matter in the big picture?"
"Am I helping or hurting my child by my actions and words?"
Until next time...