Are you a nightmare parent?

Hundreds of athletes were asked to think back and answer the question “What’s your worst memory from playing youth and high school sports?”

The most common response was “Going home after the game with my parents.”

When asked about these young people heard from their parents that motivated them and made them feel better about their performance the majority also answered the same.  Their parents told them “I love to watch you play.”

Now that everyone is back to school, it’s likely your kids (and you!) are back at after-school practice and activites of some sort.  They are having fun, maybe even competing, too, but it’s important for you to remember not to be a nightmare parent.  These characteristics can apply whether your kids play football, like mine does, or do ballet, sing in a choir, do karate, or even activities that don’t require kids to perform, like art or English.

Sports and arts and other after-school activities are a good place for parents to let kids be themselves. We all want our kids to be winners, but the simple fact of the matter is that these activities should be uplifting for the kids’ spirits, no matter how they perform.

sports balls

 Are you a nightmare parent?  Look at these five signs:

  • Putting the emphasis on winning over sportsmanship
  • Having different goals for the activity that your child does
  • Treating your child differently after a loss or a win
  • Treating the coach or teacher badly when you disagree
  • Living your own dream through your children

Hopefully you didn’t associate yourself too closely with many of those.  Instead, you are probably an ideal sports parent who does these 5 things:

  • Cheer on the whole group, not just your kid
  • Be a good role model
  • Know when to talk to the coach or teacher, and what topics are suitable
  • Know your role
  • Be a good listener and a great encourager

And, of cours,  remember to use these magic words often: “I love watching you play.”

 How many points apply to you?

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