Sideline parents sometimes step over the line.
A sportsparent asks:
What would you do if you saw a father yelling at his kid to play better during a competitive soccer game? The ten-year-old child was almost in tears. My husband had to take the father to the side and tell him to calm down. The policy has always been that parents shouldn’t coach from the sidelines, but this goes on anyways.
First, if you are that father, shame on you. Enough said.
If you see other sideline parents doing this, is there anything you can do?
If you have a friendship with the parent or feel comfortable saying something, then go at it. If that doesn’t work, or if you don’t feel comfortable saying anything, there are other options.
1. Suggest to the coach that he say something to the parent; if your league has rules against parents being on the sidelines, then the coach should ask him to leave.
2. Approach the head of the league and ask him to enforce the no-parents-on-the-sideline rule.
3. And this one is my favorite: Pull the ref aside before the game and suggest that he keep an eye on the offending parent and ban him from the sidelines if he misbehaves. This makes the ref the “bad guy” and since your kids play on the same team and you still see the parent a lot, it might cause less awkwardness on the team if you are not the one to call him out.
4. Last option: if none of the above work, strap him to his stadium chair and cover his mouth with duct tape.
The sad thing is, you can probably keep that parent from embarrassing and humiliating his child from the sidelines, but you cannot follow him home in the car and into his house to be sure he does not do it at home.
Come to think of it, maybe his mouth should be duct taped 24/7.
If you have a sports parenting question, I’ll do my best to answer! Please leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.