Character Lasts, Sports Don’t.
Sometimes kids are not the only ones who learn character lessons from playing sports. Parents can learn too. After 16 years of being a sports mom, I know that I have become a better parent.
- I learned when to keep my mouth shut. Sometimes your kids don’t want questions after practice or after a game. You gotta know your kid and let them talk when they are ready. And then, be ready to just listen.
- I learned that my worrying doesn’t help them play better. It just gives me a nervous stomach!
- I learned to not be a control freak. Let them fight their own battles. Let them learn from their mistakes. Let them reap what they sow. Let them suffer the consequences of their choices.
- I learned that what I model at home is what my kids model before their teammates. If I trash talk teammates or coaches, they will most likely do the same. But if I am positive and build up the team and coach, they are more likely to reflect that to their team.
- I learned to let the coach be the coach, and I will be the parent. He has his job; I have mine. If I think I know more than the coach, then maybe I should take his place. Pointers and tips and help at home are okay when asked, but pushing my kids like a coach only added tension to our relationship.
- I learned that being positive helps me have a better relationship with my kid. Sometimes I can be a “negative nancy” and when I saw how this frustrated my kids, I knew I had to work on my attitude!
- I learned that kids want me to be their fan, but they don’t want me to embarrass them at games. ‘Nough said.
- I learned how ridiculous I look when I rant at the refs. And how did I learn that? By seeing how other parents look when they rant, and cringing as I remember how I screamed at the refs just the game before.
- I learned that sometimes it’s okay to step into the fight. I’ve calmly approached refs after the game and expressed my discontent at their call. As a coach, my husband was thrown out of a game for defending his players. There is a time and a place for our kids to know that we are on their side.
- I learned to love my kids no matter how they perform. If they had a bad game, they know it and don’t need any reminders from me. They just need my support and unconditional love.
- I learned to respect their choices of when to play a sport and when to move on. Even though we may be extremely disappointed for them to give up a sport, especially when they are good players, if they don’t have the desire and motivation to play the game, it will be a season of battles and negative attitudes.
These are 11 lessons I wish I could have learned before my kids started playing sports! But hey, now I’m ready for sports grandparenting!