A Word to Spectator Parents
As a parent, be the spectator you want your child to be.
- Leave coaching to the coach. Aggressive sideline coaching sets a bad example for all children, undermines their confidence, and can actually harm performance.
- Don't criticize referees and judges. Even if you think the ref was completely off base, keep the criticism to yourself and don't convey your hostile feelings to your child.
- Compliment the opposition. Showing your appreciation for the other side isn't a betrayal of your own child but simply and essential part of sportsmanship and good manners.
- Steer clear of tantrum-throwing parents. You can't reason with a furious parent, but if you know the person, you may want to speak with him about his behavior at a calmer time.
- Talk with your child. If your child has witnessed poor parental behavior, take some time on the way home to talk about it.
- Point out good role models. Whenever you watch televised events or attend live competitions with your child, point out the positive role models: those who follow the rules, even when it penalizes their team or score; those who win and lose graciously.