Are you a Soccer Parent, Dance Mom or Hockey Dad?

provided by Parenting Power

P84_smallIt’s that time of year, school has started and all of the extra-curricular activities are back on the calendar. Auditions, evaluations, practices…they add to the excitement and education in the lives of our families!

Are you a Soccer Parent, Dance Mom or Hockey Dad?

Lately, social media and marketers have begun labeling parents as Sports Parents. Labels are often easy to slip on – they can add a feeling of belonging. At the same time, these labels can add a lot of pressure for kids. If you have ever labeled yourself a Sport Parent, what you really are is a parent who has a child that is participating in a sport.

In his article, What is the Role of Parents in Youth Sports?, Micheal McArdle says,

“Sport is what we do, it is not who we are.”

The same goes for band, or choir, piano or dance, math or Rubik’s cube. Our kids do these activities, our kids are just kids. At the same time, we are the parents of these kids. It is not about us. Labels make it more about us.

Our job as parents is to love and support our kids as they participate in the activities. We are not there as coaches – and if a parent is the coach, the coaching job takes place at the event, not in the car on the way there, on the way home and all through the week until the next practice.

Kids feel a ton of pressure, embarrassment and frustration when parents overstep their level of involvement in an activity. Your child may not be able to tell you about these feelings. We’ve included a fabulous video below in which kids of all ages tell us what they need from their parents. It’s about kids and sports and it really does transfer to all activities.

Many sports organizations across Canada require families to take the Respect in Sport course. While this program contains valuable information, taking the course alone will not change your behaviour. That’s your job!

This week, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I make my kids’ activities about me?
  • Am I stressed out about what team or level my child will make this year?
  • What level of awareness can I bring to my pre/post game/performance behaviour?
  • Can I plan my words before I go and watch? What will I say? What will I do? What won’t I say and do?

Kids want our love, support and help. Let their coaches/teachers guide their performance. Enjoy watching them play. It’s what they do, not who they are.