Saturday, January 3, 2015

A Tale of Two Parents

So Buggy had his second wrestling meet (my first) last night.

I'm going to preface the rest of this by saying that I am far from a perfect parent. In fact, I yelled at my daughter yesterday for eating cookies when she had an upset stomach and had to apologize to her for my poor behavior. So I am by no means passing judgment on the following scenario, just sharing my own realization.

Parent 1:
Bug had a rough night, and was stressed out before he even stepped onto the mat. That in itself was enough to deal with. However, as his first match went on, I noticed from the bleachers that just kept crying. I could not, for the life of me, figure out what was wrong. He seemed to sob through the whole match, even though he was winning. I went over after the match (which he won), and hugged him and told him how proud I was. After the tournament I had a chance to talk to my husband, who had been on the sidelines, and I asked what was wrong. Bug was crying because his opponent's father was screaming at his own son, and Buggy thought it was my husband yelling at him. He could not understand why he was being yelled at in such a way. It wasn't until later that my husband was able to explain to him that it had nothing to do with him.

Parent 2:
After his second match, in which he was (fairly quickly) pinned, his opponent came over and shook both Bug's hand and my husband's hand before returning to his own family. I was beyond impressed with the child's maturity and demonstration of sportsmanship. That is an incredible value to be instilling in a 2nd grader!

Again, I'm not trying to place any sort of judgment in the first scenario. For one, I'm not perfect, and two, the child of the father who was doing the yelling was not nearly as affected as Bug, so it is entirely possible that Bug was upset purely based on his perception of the yelling. It's loud in those gyms, maybe the father was just trying to be heard and coach his son.

However, it really made me think about the type of sports parent I want to be. I want my kids to work hard, to do their best, and of course, to win. But those values that transcend the sport are so incredibly important, and I want to make sure I am modeling and coaching those just as much as, if not more than, the athletic skills themselves.

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