GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV) – Sweaty equipment, early morning and late night practices, wins and defeats, Having our kids play sports can be a whole lot of fun, but it provides its challenges as well. Bob VandePol from Pine Rest has some advice for parents.
Sports is a great way to spend really quality time with your kids. We are all concerned about negative peer pressure upon our kids and involvement in our children’s teams allows opportunity to influence those who influence our children.
Involvement in sports allows your children to SEE you handle success, failure, stress, conflict, etc. in real-life situations.
Tips for coaches coaching their own kid:
- Engage a team of coaches you trust. There is no such thing as an unbiased parent. Assign each coach’s kid to be coached by someone else. “I’ll coach your kid. You coach mine. And we will all coach the rest.”
- Teach values “Win without bragging. Lose without excuses.” “There is no I in TEAM; no ME in WE.” “Intensity with a smile on your face.”
- Engage parental support but don’t cave in to it.
Tips for parents on the sideline:
- Practice with your child and support them at games. But remember: It’s not about YOU and your status. This is not for vicarious glory. You don’t get to play. This Little League coach is not likely to keep your child out of the Major Leagues.
- Parenting from the sidelines is not a competitive sport. Let the coaches coach. Don’t criticize the coach or officials in front of your child.
- Be positive and not critical. When walking to the parking lot after a tough game use this script: “I love to watch you play. What do you want to eat.” Talk when they are ready.