For the past few weeks I’ve written about the 99 per cent of parents who, most without being asked, will help out at their daughter or son’s game or practice without thinking twice about it. Anything for the children is how most feel.
As our children become older the option for a more competitive and a higher commitment level begins. First the parent decides if they can drive all over the region to selected tournaments, which is usually expected during the soccer season. This Development or Select play usually ends up being for children who have an all-round high level of athleticism, or show a drive for a higher competitive level or, my favourite child, the one who may not be the most skilled but works hard at every practice and game to try to make the cut. Overall, most children still compete for the love of a game.
There is then the unfortunate child who is asked to try and live out a dream of one or both of the parents without compromise or thought for their children’s wishes.
Life is all about choices and parents always want the best for their children, but some at times may steer the child to an activity, hobby or sport that they once or still enjoy and assume their child must feel the same way. I believe as parents we all care for what choices our children make, but are we allowing them to choose whichever activity they truly enjoy?
The other part of the ‘one per cent’ parent raised its ugly head this past weekend at the Little Mountain Sports Fields during a 12-year- old boy’s developmental jamboree. Every year Shuswap Youth Soccer encourages children as young as 12 years, with the mentoring of our senior youth and adult referees, to begin to experience refereeing. Some of these children do it for the money, others the enjoyment of the game, but certainly none of them sign up to be verbally assaulted by unhappy parents who feel it’s their right to belittle and destroy the confidence of these young referees who may have made a wrong call. I would like to think that our Shuswap parents, when travelling to their child’s game, would respect the younger referees from other associations as they also grow as referees. Perhaps try to picture these young referees as your own child.
I encourage you to not attempt to talk to these verbally abusive parents as usually this type of parent can’t see past their own clouded thoughts. If it’s not the referee then it will probably be you they will try to belittle.
Shuswap Youth Soccer is ensuring the appropriate associations are being emailed about these unfortunate parents.