Today – Let Them Play – Don’t be *That* Parent
Let Them Play – Don’t be *That* Parent
If your child begins to show an interest in sport, such as football, you may want to sign them up to play as part of a team or for a weekly club. Designed to be a friendly and welcoming environment where kids can have fun and have the confidence to try new things, so many times the experience is ruined by that one parent.
You know the kind that we mean – the one that believes their son or daughter is destined to be the next superstar, acting as if every game or training session is in front of a sold-out Wembley Stadium. It is common to hear their voice above all others, even ranting and raving at the coach, referee or even their own child.
The overbearing parent is a horror in grassroots sports with children placed under far too much pressure to succeed when, ultimately, all they want to do is play with their friends.
The Initial Signs of *That* Parent
The first sign that someone may be an overbearing parent is that they need no invitation to tell you just how good their child is. Of course, no parent needs an invitation to sing the praises of their child, but *that* parent will constantly go on about how good their son or daughter is, stating that they are either one of if not, the best in the group.
Whilst being quick to sing their child’s praises, they are also prone to being overly critical, calling them out – in front of everyone else – on every minimal mistake. It’s almost as if their child who can’t recite their times’ tables isn’t as good as a multi-millionaire professional that have honed their craft for years.
What Effect Does Being *That* Parent Have on the Child?
Despite what *that* parent may believe, they are certainly doing their child more harm than good. Children perform better with positive support and feedback, especially in the younger age groups – not to mention hearing the mum or dad constantly ranting at the side will be the source of embarrassment.
There is every chance that the child’s initial love for sport could dwindle because of the negative experience their parent has caused. Could you imagine having a kickabout in the park and being constantly shouted at by your parent in front of all your friends? It wouldn’t feel very good at all.
Trust the Coach, Even When They Don’t Get It Right
Coaches are human and, in grassroots sports, they are likely unpaid volunteers. Despite what you may think, they don’t dedicate every second of every day working on a game plan for the weekend – they have their own lives and families. Don’t be *that* parent that constantly questions your parent’s coach because they do try their best. No, they didn’t intentionally give more game time to another child over yours and, no, they didn’t rearrange kick-off to purposefully clash with an appointment.
Let Them Play
While competitive sports make for an exciting afternoon, it’s not the be-all-and-end-all, especially for young children who just want to play. There are some fantastic sports clubs that offer a fantastic environment away from the pressures of competition, taking away the presence of *that* parent who is prone to getting all worked up on matchday, such as Playball in Chelsea. Coaches follow a curriculum that allows children to learn through play, working on the physical and cognitive aspects of their development.
The presence of *that* parent doesn’t just dampen the experience for their child, it also ruins it for the other children taking part, as well as the parents and coaches,
So there you have it – Don’t be *That* Parent
Let Them Play – Don’t be *That* Parent is a feature post