Football and soccer seasons are back. And parents, I know you've been around other parents who've acted up on the sidelines. Yelling, screaming, even cussing. It can make you cringe.
Sportsmanship isn’t only for the kids. It’s a lesson for all parents. Your role as a parent is to give support to your kids and to enjoy the game. This means cheering your kids on from the sideline. Positivity – “great way to hustle,” "atta girl," “shake it off,” and “get your head back in the game”.
You're not going to agree with all the calls made by the ref. And it happens, be quiet. It’s ok to show disappointment, but yelling and calling the ref names makes you like bad. This isn’t good for your kid’s focus on the game. If it’s a big enough issue for you then talk to the ref or coach after the game to get understanding of the call. Embarrassing your kid isn't the way to go.
Now, parents not only disagree with refs' call, but also disagree with other parents’ behavior. So how do you handle obnoxious parents in the stands beside you? As hard as it can be, ignore them if they’re blowing off steam about bad calls, bad plays, bad decisions. Change seats if you have to. Don’t turn their problem into yours. If that isn’t enough for you then after the game, pull them aside for a private chat. Use “I” statements. Focus on the facts not emotions, judgments or opinions. Talking to the coach in private is another way to handle the problem.
Blanca Cobb is a WFMY News 2 Contributing Editor, body language expert and keynote speaker/trainer who covers nonverbal communication, psychology and behavior. Follow her @blancacobb. The opinions expressed in this article are exclusively hers.
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