Have We As Parent's Gone Mad?!



So, sports back- how good! Saturdays are back to normal and now we all feel like there’s a sense of purpose to our weekends. Awesome!

While there’s a little more structure, our kids are returning to their peer groups and it doesn’t feel so much like every household in Australia has turned into a zoo… with both your partner and you the keepers.

Well unless you currently live in VIC! (No that’s not a sledge).

But here’s the thing. If you've ever wondered what 'white line fever' is now is your time to learn! How are your behaviours on the sporting fields being interpreted by your child? Being only a few weeks in geez there is some odd behaviour taking place. No- not from our kids... But us!

At a glance- this is what’s going on around the grounds (in no particular order)

- Parents objecting to late entry team selections (COVID enforced)

- Politely declining the rules of parentless sporting fixtures

- Varying rules on spectators from school to club land (shouldn’t they all be the same?)

- Altered competition schedules from external teams to internal games

So yep, let’s be honest it’s a bit of a sh*%t show.

But here’s the thing. We’re in unpreceded times. In case you’ve overlooked it. I get it too. Maybe your regular (pre-COVID times) Saturday morning coffee run is starting to resemble what it previously was.

Butterflies all-round! We’re on here. Footys back and everyone’s pumped for albeit a ‘modified’ season so Johnny or Harriet can now use the well invested footy boots or dance outfits before they grow out of them for next season. Right?...

Bu-bung! (with a capital X and enough sound effects to put a tele game show to shame)

Here’s the thing. A few home truths you might call it. You haven’t experienced these times before and neither have any of your kids. So, your interpretation of these adjustments to your routine, rules, competitions, training schedules, oh and wait for it the inability to shake other parents hands upon gday (woops easy to overlook given we beat it once and we’ll beat it again right?!).

In other words you’re in it together being you and your kids. But here’s the thing you’re the adult and your child is just that. They don’t have the maturity to make effective rational decisions. Even if they have outgrown you in stature. Bottom line- they’re still your kid.

Here are some suggestions to help you continue to shine as a sporting parent during these challenging times.

- If your child is played in another team or selected for a different position… embrace it! There are plenty of positives to take away. Threatening coaches, managers, or the likes of that you will take your child elsewhere only reduces their resilience and increases their sense of entitlement.

- If the competition your child/children are in doesn’t permit spectators. Adjust your coffee run to land during your kids fixture. Digging your heels in refusing to cooperate isn’t a good look for your kids. In other words you’re encouraging them to disobey authority. So, the next time you as a parent you ask them to do something and they kickback… don’t ask yourself ‘I wonder where they got that from- I didn’t teach them that!’

- The best ability is adaptability. I can’t remember where I ‘borrowed’ that from but it was the best advice ever given to me. How you adapt to these times as a parent will reflect on your child’s ability to adapt. So, if there’s a little confusion among rules enforced between schools, clubs, etc. ask yourself ‘how would I like my child as an adult to respond to this?’ This is an invaluable life lesson they can take later into their life.

- Internal games may be forced upon you. Sure- I get it your hard-earned registration fees may not have included the clause *may become an internal competition when a pandemic presents itself. But hey, have you ever heard the phrase ‘let the kids play’? Exactly, take a step back and that’s exactly what they’re doing right? It wasn’t so long ago you were frustrated with home schooling and keeping them occupied. Embrace it while it lasts because that 2nd wave is about to roll in and I’d prefer to be looking for the barrel than getting trampled in the whitewash!

Our actions as sporting parents are continually judged, mirrored, or engrained in the character of our loved ones. Embrace it and be the difference.

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