I was recently at a youth soccer game, for 7 year olds. The opposing team was a little too physical. It was clear to most of the parents on our sideline, that the opposing coach had focused his team to “playing the players” and not as much, “playing the ball”.
At the end of the game, one of the parents erupted at the referee, as he had barely called any penalties on the opposing team despite many high elbows, pushes and trips. In the middle of the argument, the opposing coach stepped onto the field, to join the screaming match.
The whole incident lasted less than two minutes, but left a lasting impression on our players, and my son. The following week, all the parents who were not at that game, were asking questions; clearly their children had come home with stories about “the fight”. My son asked again and again if that parent was going to scream at the referee again.
Besides being an ineffective way of handling a situation, the lesson learned by our children is difficult to undo, and unfortunate.
Volatile parents should stay on the sidelines, and often, should stay home.
What do you think?
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