Badly behaved soccer parents

Filed under: Just For Moms, Tweens, Just For Dads, Development/Milestones: Babies, That's Entertainment

I am a soccer mom. It is something I can freely admit and not want to hide under the nearest mini van to hang my head in shame. I love watching my two older children kick the ball around the field every Saturday of the Fall and Spring months. They have fun, it wears them out and makes them less likely to fight with each other and it brings them both happiness. However, although I am a mother of two soccer players, I am not a Soccer Mom to the extent of affixing soccer team stickers to my car, boasting about or embroidering my children's abilities or exhibiting bad behavior on the sidelines of games.

I am amazed time and again at how badly behaved some parents are at soccer games. The demeaning comments that one parent will mention to another about certain players on their own child's team are shocking. The insulting "coaching" that parents will yell from the sidelines stop cold in my tracks. But I think that this past Saturday I saw an all time low. We live in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado where after September first cold weather can hit at any time. This past weekend it did hit but since the other team had driven over 50 miles to play my daughter's U10 team, the girls had to brave it out in the sleeting rain and gusting wind. When the first half was nearly over, one little girl on my daughter's team could no longer hack it and went running to the sidelines and into her father's arms. The little girl had only short sleeves and could no longer feel her arms. As she cried and attempted to cuddle into her father's coat, he pushed her back on to the field yelling, "Get back in the game, dammit. Can't you see the ball is still in play? There is nothing wrong with you" The little girl continued to plea with her father as he shoved her onto the field. Finally a referee took pity on her, stopped the game and another girl was subbed on to the field.

Now this is U10 soccer, meaning that it is comprised of girls aged 8 and 9. This is not the World Cup. There are no scholarships to be won. This is a game meant to build confidence and physical coordination. When I saw the father's interaction with his daughter, I went over and offered him the use of my coat for his daughter to wear. He looked at me, shocked, and shook his head. What could he have possibly achieved by forcing his daughter to play with numbed arms? Did he think he was teaching her to be tough? Why didn't his wife step in and tell him to knock it off, especially when he turned to on of the other parents and said, "There was obviously nothing wrong with her. She was just being a baby? I don't know. But I do know that I hope I never become that kind of a soccer mom.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.