It can be hard to rein in your protective parenting when someone tries to intimidate your child on the field. It’s natural to want ownership over the activity; you’ve invested time and money, and you want to make sure your child enjoys it to the fullest. Knowing when you should take a step back and when you should assert yourself can keep everyone happy.
Don’t coddle your child. Sure, you can show ‘em a little love and affection, but try not to hover and interfere when small issues arise. Let your child, coaches, and other children work it out when you can.
Don’t push. If your child doesn’t show much interest or prefers to complain rather than participate, back off and let her lead. It’s important to encourage children to follow through, but don’t force them to stick to something they hate.
Don’t gossip. It’s tacky, and it might get you in hot water with other parents, children, or the coaches. Set a good example for your child.
Don’t be afraid to speak up. If you observe mistreatment, disregard for children’s safety, or adults disrespecting your children, speak up for your child. Bring your concerns to the coaches first, and work your way up from there.
Do encourage your child and others. Show your child what being a good sport is all about. Win or lose, pass out compliments to the team and keep the negativity off the field.
Do support and appreciate the coaches. Most of the time these people are taking time out of their own lives without pay. It not just about practices and games, but also gathering paperwork, taking care of equipment, writing plays, and organizing everything else.
Let your children learn about good sportsmanship by watching how you interact with others. Challenge your child to excel, and challenge yourself to be a positive role model. And remember: let them have fun.