We all know ‘that parent’ who screams at kids’ games — don’t be that parent
Parents who have kids that are involved in sports sometimes seem to come in two varieties: the “quietly and proudly observe” variety who doesn’t take children’s games too seriously, and the “I’m gonna curse and scream and pretend this is the bottom of the 9th in the most epic World Series ever and go completely berserk” variety.
Author and blogger Glennon Doyle — a self-professed “soccer mom” who is married to Olympic soccer star Abby Wambach — says we should all strive to be of the first variety.
She shared her own “Soccer Mom 101” pointers and words of wisdom on Instagram, and honestly — what she says is goddamn perfect. So, parents of kids in sports: LISTEN UP.
“When your kid’s game begins: sit down. Get cozy. Look down and check your shirt carefully,” she writes. “If your shirt says one of the following words: ‘Coach’ Or ‘Referee’ – feel free – throughout the game- to yell coachy or referee-ish things. If you do not see these words on your shirt: hush, mostly.”
And this is coming from a woman whose wife is a former professional soccer star. These two know that while it may be difficult to remain a quiet parental observer, it’s necessary. For the well-being of your kids and the sanity of those in the crowd with you.
Doyle, who classifies herself as a “Bat Shit Crazy Mama Bear Who Truly Believes that Every Ten Year Old Opponent Who Touches Her Daughter’s Jersey Intends To Kill Her Daughter Dead,” shares a suggestion for fellow sports parents who wish to ensure their mouths remain shut: lollipops.
“Put the pops in your loud obnoxious mouths as soon as you sit down on the sideline,” she says. “Let the pops serve as a reminder to you that children are dropping out of sports in record numbers – largely because their parents are behaving like asshats on the sidelines in record numbers. Because Things, in general, are less fun to do when bigger people scream at you the entire time you do them.”
The accompanying photo shows Doyle and Wambach following this advice to the letter. Look, if Abby Wambach can keep her expertise to herself in order to be a supportive stepparent on the sidelines of a soccer game, there’s no excuse for the rest of us.
Doyle ends her post by begging parents to let the kids play and let the actual officials do their jobs. “You parent- which means yell nothing but ‘yay’ and ‘good hustle’ and ‘you got this’ and ‘good idea’ and maybe the occasional ‘offside!'” Because we’ve all been to a kid’s game where parents scream…other things. Don’t be that parent. Don’t encourage that parent.
And finally, “Bring lollipops for all the other soccer parents. They’ll think you’re sweet but you’re really just quite tricky and wise and forever on the kids’ side.”
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