Saturday, October 4, 2008

Yellers.. Give Us A Break!

Today as I was walking up to Kate's 8am soccer game I heard a woman in the stands screaming like a crazy woman at her daughter on the field. M A RI A ... RUN... NO... GO FASTER... YOU'RE JUST STANDING THERE.. I'm talking about yelling like I have never heard before. She even exchanged words with the umpire. She continued this the whole game, and I'm just sure she left with no voice. She became a spectacle and a source of a lot of jokes from the other side of the stands.

Maria's mom, whoever that is, left me thinking about why parents are so hard on their kids during sports. My three oldest all play sports, and so I'm in the parent fan arena on a weekly basis. I just don't get it. What ever happened to encouraging our kids and complimenting them. It is just amazing to me how parents belittle their children in public. And, I'm not just talking about Maria's mom.. Again, whoever poor Maria is, it's at least half of the parents out there.

For example, I have watched a child, who happens to be the best player on the field, giving her absolute all out there with very little support from her teamates, and I will hear her parent on the sidelines just hollering "MAKE THE SHOT".. NO DIDNT YOU SEE HER. GO PAST HER. or DONT WAIT.. so loud the whole complex hears. Then, the child makes the shot, scores the goal, and never hears the same hollering in a positive "THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT... GOOD JOB. Why is it that some parents are so quick to just yell the negative? Frankly, it's embarrassing to the child and belittling.

How many people would yell out loud in front of all of our kids classmates.. YOU MISSED ONE ON THE TEST. YOU DID IT WRONG! PAY ATTENTION! Hopefully no one, yet parents will stand and run up and down the sidelines like idiots yelling something equally as hurtful with the whole squad and everyone else around listening.

I am an encourager. I am grateful that my children want to play sports and I'm excited that they are out there. If I were the kid with the yelling mother, I'd be looking for the first opportunity to quit sports just to avoid the embarrassment of being the kid whose mom won't shut her trap!


Five Musgraves at Ten Oaks said...

I hear you loud and clear! One thing I noticed in previous years was that the tone between the boys games and the girls games is sometimes different. We had our niece live with us for 5 years, and girl parents seemed to be overall more encouraging, less life-and-death over sports! Parents of boys generally had a higher expectation for aggression as well as desiring a higher level of performance. Of course, there's always exceptions, but I really think more parents of boys will push their child hard to excel on the playing field, spend LOTS of time and $$ to prepare them to excel, and be frustrated if they don't. There are so many life lessons that come through sports, friendships developed, bodies strengthened and toned, lives given purpose, but perspectives and priorities can often get out of whack when too much emphasis is placed on these games! I know I've done it and this is such a competetive world we live in that finding the right balance for each child can be very difficult. We so need to hear that still, small voice of the Holy Spirit, and for our fleshly nature to be in submission to the will of God.

SuperMom said...

I'll admit it....I am a yeller. However, I will yell mostly good things, but on occasion I will physically roll my eyes, make a grimace with my face or clasp my hand to my head when KL makes a silly mistake.

Part of it is the cheerleader coming out in me....part of it is trying to control my nervous energy....but mostly it's my misconception that somehow my yells will make her play better.

I've got a lot to learn!