If you have kids who have ever played sports, you know that their sporting events can be a handful. We have all seen the crazed soccer moms who yell at referees and embarrass their children. There are the overzealous dads who think their child is the best player on the team no matter how bad they are, and the quiet church type parents that barely make a sound; in fact, you wouldn’t even know they were there if it wasn’t for the delicious snacks they bring to share. You see the grandparents that come to support their grandkids, the parents who rushed from work, and the friends of the family.
These are the typical parents you see at children’s events, but the absolute worst type of parents at an event are the ones that shock you to your core. You know the parents I am talking about, the ones who overreact about everything, yell, throw things, and fight with the coaches and other parents.
DON’T be this parent!
As a fitness coach, I am all for supporting kids in sports as it is an excellent way for them to stay fit with lots of exercise. It also benefits their mental health, and it teaches them how to be a good winner and a good loser. It does not help them if they are worried about how their parents will act at their events.
As a teenager, I participated in a few sports, and my favorite was cheerleading. I loved the workouts, the balancing, and learning new moves. I enjoyed going to football and wrestling events and cheering my team on. I did not want my mom screaming from the stands, “GO MANDY!” I am still not sure why she was cheering for me when I was not in the actual game, but at least I had her support. I felt sorry for my little brother, who was captain of the football team and dealt with my mom even more. I remember one game where he got hurt, and my mom screamed and ran out on the field, cursing and demanding he quit the team. He was mortified, and even though he did continue to play, he told me he wished she would stay home during his games.
As a parent, we don’t try to embarrass our kids, but it is inevitable because we are parents, and the harder we try to be cool, the less we are. My oldest son could tell you many stories about how I embarrassed him as a teenager. Now, I am the type of parent that is a little mixture of all parents. I cheer for my kids at their events but not in an obscene way. I stand up for them if coaches mistreat them but in a polite manner. I bring snacks and complain that bleachers should not be so hard. I figure the best way to show my kiddo’s support is not to be one of the shocking parents. Here is a list of 10 shocking moments parents can do at a sporting event.
1. Dressing Provokingly
When attending a sporting event, dressing for a night on the town is a faux pas. No matter your relationship status, your kid’s soccer game is not the place to flaunt your goods.
2. Flirting with other parents
Hitting on other parents or coaches regardless of your relationship status is not a good idea. You are there to support your child, not hook up.
3. Bringing alcohol
Most sporting events occur at a school or public field where alcohol is not permitted. You don’t want to be the parent that gets kicked out because you could not follow the rules.
How you speak and the language you use is up to you, and your right, but try to remember that some people frown upon swearing and do not use it in front of their kids. Try to refrain from using profanity in an area with young kids.
5. Striking the coach
It is ok to challenge the coach or referee, especially when you know the call they made was terrible, but following up with a sucker punch is only going to land you in jail.
6. Putting down the other kids
Yes, not all kids are great or athletic, and you can usually tell which kids want to be there and which kids were forced to play a sport. You know what I mean, the kid in the middle of the soccer field watching the butterflies and not the ball. However, remember that sports are supposed to be fun, and if you start putting down the other kids on the team, you will most likely upset a parent or, worse, a child.
7. Bringing special baked goods
I don’t know why a parent would ever think it is good to bring cannabis goodies to a child’s sporting event, but it has happened. Edibles are not a good way to get back at the annoying church mom who always shares her snacks or hoping the coach will get fired when they fail the drug test but leave your goodies at home.
8. Joining the game
Being excited and wanting to join in on the fun is great but actually joining the game because you think you could do a better job is a big no-no.
9. Taking the wrong kid’s home
We have all been there when we are so tired that we just want the game to finish so we can go home and relax. You need to make sure that you don’t rush so fast that you end up taking the wrong kid.
10. Being a know-it-all
As a fitness coach who likes sports, watching when things get handled the wrong way can be challenging. I see this happen a lot when someone is pressured into volunteer coaching for their kids’ team because there were not enough funds or interest to get an actual coach. Try to remember that this person is doing the best they can, and having you tell them how to do things the correct way does not help. My advice is if you want to be a know-it-all and tell them how to do it, then next time, you should be the volunteer.
Sports are supposed to be fun and teach our kids new qualities that they can carry through life. You don’t want to ruin it for them by being one of the shocking parents. Remember that all your kids really need is some love and support, and maybe some pizza after the game. After all, they earned it.
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