Parents should make sure they don’t get a foul call at games
QUESTION: Any reminders for adults who find it hard to be good sports during their children’s baseball or soccer games? Those games are in full swing in some cities and adults can lose sight of how they are expected to behave. Should they sign a pledge that they should behave while watching the kids play?
CALLIE’S ANSWER: How embarrassing, really. A pledge sent out with each program might help, but if someone is losing their stuff, a pledge probably won’t help. Might have to have someone talk to the crazy parent. Good luck!
LILLLIE-BETH’S ANSWER: Apparently, by your question, this continues to be a regular problem. If you’re the coach, you can in
clude this reminder — and a pledge — in a parents’ meeting as the season starts and spell out the types of behavior that you have seen and won’t be tolerated and what happens if they violate them. A sports league can do this, too. As a parent bystander whose child is playing, I’m not sure what you can do for/to parents who do not understand this. There aren’t excuses for parents getting so competitive or wrapped up in games that they yell at or berate referees or players, including their own children. I am sorry.
HELEN’S ANSWER: Adults should continue to be good role models for children even if they don’t agree with a referee’s call or think their child didn’t get the points they deserved.
They should conduct themselves properly and be good sports. There is no need to be so overly focused that you get into a fight with another parent. These are children’s games, for goodness’ sake, and should be for the children’s enjoyment. I am not sure how pledges would be enforced, but if it helps remind adults to behave, then ask for signatures. Coaches can help by talking to parents and reminding them that good behav
ior is essential to the well-being of their children. GUEST’S ANSWER: Kirsten Cash, speech pathologist and mother of four: All
four of my kids have played various organized sports over the past 18 years. I am pretty certain every organization had some kind of behavior agreement document we have had to sign, so I believe those are already in place. The problem is these “contracts” are not actively enforced by the organizations. Unfortunately, I have witnessed many parents lose control at games. It is embarrassing for all, but most especially for the child of the offending parent. The best advice I have is to contact the organization about a particular parent and ask them to come observe your games so that the organization can either speak to the offending parent or have them removed. Since 2009, Callie, Lillie-Beth and Helen have written this generational etiquette column. They also include guest responses from a wide range of ages each week. So many years later, Callie is 20-plus; LillieBeth is 40-plus and Helen is 60-plus. To ask an etiquette question, email email@example.com.
Adults should continue to be good role models for children even if they don’t agree with the referee’s call or think their child didn’t get the points they deserved. GETTY IMAGES