It’s no secret that there are a lot of rules for softball parents. For parents of any athlete in general.
Apparently, we are supposed to sit down (not too close to our kid), relax, fork over money and our kids and be quiet and just smile ever so sweetly and only say, “I love to watch you play!”
Which, we all do.
We all love to watch them play. (Except for when they play terrible. Or when they are whiny, Or when we feel like there feelings are being squashed like a bug.)
Because if we didn’t love to watch them play, we certainly wouldn’t sit through the heat and the cold and the rain and the snow when we have 40 million things to do piling up at home while our wallets are being drained at lightning speed.
But GEEZ there are so many rules for parents of athletes. (Yesterday we gave our top 3 pieces of advice for softball players!)And its a tough field to navigate. And if we violate these rules people will say that we DO SUCK, even if we are only acting on what we feel is our kids best interest. So what is a parent to do?
Today – we go over just a few rules for softball parents to help them not SUCK at being a softball parent
- Abide by the 24-Hour rule! This is perhaps one of the best rules for anyone. When emotions run high, or you are upset or angered by something – it is usually best to collect yourself and take 24 hours before approaching another parent or coach or trying to deal with the situation. Seriously. Take the hiatus, if for nothing else – but your child. The last thing any kid wants to witness is their parent involved in a verabl (or otherwise) altercation at the one place where they normally find the most joy. It can be difficult to get control over these emotions – whether they be toward a coach, parent, or official – but it is the very best thing you can do!
- Never….and we mean NEVER EVER talk negatively about another child on the team to anyone – and especially not in front of your child. It really just sort of makes you a jackwagon to talk negatively about other kids and teammates. (And we know this is a hard rule to follow at times, especially when Sally makes the same errors over and over again and Betty has such awful manners and Matilda hasn’t got a hit the entire year but is still batting in the 4 hole while your daughter is an EH) And what you say to others…well, the truth is that eventually it won’t just stay between you and whomever you are talking to, and that’s how drama starts. Keep in mind that anything negative you say about parents, coaches or teammates in front of you kid only HURTS your child and chips away their belief in their team piece by piece. The view on the high road is always better.
- Always remember that this is not about YOU! It feels like it is about you because your child is involved and because you are the one spending the money and you spend all your time doing this. But the reality is that this whole gig is about your kid. Don’t take ownership of it lest you allow your child to not be responsible for herself. Your child is not you, and even if you were the best 3rd baseman in the history of softball on your team decades ago, your daughter may not be. Allow them to make their own path, allow them to OWN their sport and achievement as well as their failures.
- The ride home should always be positive. (See the 24 hour rule above) When you get in the car after a long day at the park – win or lose, happy or sad – try to only focus on the good things that happened. Don’t use your child who is locked behind a seat-belt as a sounding board to express all your feelings to. Just tell them you loved watching them play, let them know what they did well – and leave the rest for the next practice. Sometimes, what happens at the ballfield, should stay at the ballfield.
And there you have it!! If you abide by these 4 simple rules, we promise that you won’t suck as a softball parent. At least not to us. Certainly there will still be others that find you over bearing, or annoying, or over the top! But we think you are doing pretty darn good.