Picture yourself as a youngster playing soccer. You’re on the field having fun, but then you hear your mom criticize you for a pass you make. She yells at one of your teammates for a missed shot. She makes inappropriate comments toward the ref. Sounds like we’re introducing the “Bad Parents”, right?
This time, imagine your mom offering encouragement from the sidelines. She gives you a hug after the game, and regardless of your performance on the field, you know she’s proud of you.
Which scenario is more likely to keep a child wanting to play soccer? Find other examples of DOs and DON’Ts in 5 things you should do, 6 you shouldn’t.
Your involvement in your child’s sporting experience plays a big part in shaping how they perceive that experience. A 2008 study that looked at enjoyment in youth sport – research you can find summarized in the influence of parents in youth sport – found that positive parental involvement was one of the most frequently reported sources of enjoyment by youth sport participants. It keeps sport fun, which is number one on the top 5 reasons kids play sports.
But your positive engagement won’t only encourage your child to continue in sport, it can also help develop self-esteem, motivation, and social skills – areas of development that will benefit them throughout their lives.
Just be conscious of how you come across to your child as you take part in their sporting experience. Above all, ensure their enjoyment and development isn’t hindered.