Cheering on Your Child
The way you cheer on (and support) your child during a sports game or practice can make a big difference in the way your child views you and the sport. Finding the right balance of support is essential to making your children’s sports activities positive ones.
Cheering at Kids’ Sports Events
Cheer on your child in ways that your child finds most supportive. Some kids like to hear their names shouted aloud at children’s sports games. Others find it embarrassing. Ask your child how to best support him.
Remember that the sport is your child’s, not yours. Be aware of which issues are yours, and which are hers. Some kids feel intense pressure to excel from parents who used to be superstars (or wanted to be superstars) in a sport.
Focus on your child getting better, not on her being the best. Particularly as your child gets older (such as during high school), there can be extreme pressure to be the best in a sport. While competition can be healthy, make sure it’s not turning your child into someone who will step on anyone in the way to excel. Remember, it’s kids’ physical activity, not their success in sports, that’s important.
Encourage other cheering parents to be supportive. Sometimes a parent can pick fights with a referee, coach, or a child. Some kids’ sports teams and sporting associations have created code of conduct cards that are given to every parent, coach, and referee. That way, when someone doesn’t follow the code of conduct, you have something in writing and you can have a group of people ask the person to either calm down or leave. These cards make uncomfortable confrontations less likely.
Notice what your child does right. After the game, kids like to hear what you admired about their playing. Even if your child’s team lost, point out what your child did well.
Get to know the parents of your child’s teammates and build a parent network around your kids’ sport. Kids learn about sportsmanship from their parents as well as their coaches, and strengthening your parenting community by meeting new parents through your kids’ sports sets a positive example.
Have fun! Enjoy watching your kids play and engage in physical activity.
Going to children’s sports games and cheering is something that many parents take a great deal of pride in. It’s fun watching kids play sports, and the more you can encourage your kids’ physical activity, the better. And not only that, but it also has benefits for both kids and parents alike.
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