Most of my time these days is spent around teens and parents, usually at a sporting event of some sort. I have written in the past about some of the poor sportsmanship I have seen on the field, but what I saw this past week made me think even deeper.
Both events took place in the past week. Instance one was at a soccer game where a player decided to lift his shirt up and parade up and down the sidelines (where the fans sat) after scoring a goal. (His team lost anyway, and were the heavy favorite.) Instance two was at another soccer game between 12 year old kids. The officials were not calling many fouls, so the game got out of control. The child on our team bumped into a boy from the other team. The boy on the other team then launched an F Bomb at our player, and he also screamed at the ref over every call. In general, he was a poor sport the entire game. (His team won.)
I thought about all the adults that allow this type of behavior to happen:
- The parents
- The refs
- The coaches
If either of these kids were my child, they would be in so much trouble that I guarantee that type of behavior would never occur again. But I wonder, why do parents allow their kids to act like that? Why don’t coaches pull these kids off the field? Why do refs allow to kids to be rude to them? Why do kids think they can talk to adults in such a manner? When I played sports, nobody addressed the refs at all. Now I see kids raising their arms and questioning the ref over every call.
I wish I could flash forward 10 years and see where these kids are. Do they realize that nobody in the real world cares about soccer? Once they are off the field, nobody will recognize their athletic prowess. They will have to work hard to succeed and to earn money. Things will not just be handed to them like they appear to be now. If a parent allows such behavior on the field, I can only imagine how that kid acts around the house. Will these kids ever be prepared for the real world?
I know that everyone wants the best for their kids. However, if parents continue to allow their kids to walk around like they are invincible and infallible, then they are being set up for a big fall in adulthood. I think if kids never struggle, it is harder for them learn self-sufficiency. If you are raised like you are the best person on earth, and adults all around you confirm that, then you are in for a big reality check when you enter adulthood. Wanting the best for your child is not about giving them everything they want and feeding their ego at every turn. It is also about giving them the tools to make them successful adults. Sure, you might come out as the bad guy sometimes, but that is your JOB.
So parents, do your children a favor. Encourage them, love them, but also make them work hard. Make them respect authority. It doesn’t matter if they don’t want to mow the lawn, make them do it. You are a parent, not a friend, and it is your job to raise them right.
Have you ever seen similar situations where you thought a child was out of control and the parent thought nothing of it? I am not talking about little kids, I am talking about kids that are old enough to know better. Please share your experiences in the comments section.