Noah’s soccer season ended a few weeks ago. And now that it’s over, can I just say… there are some dads that I’d really just like to smack.
Not because they were getting too “into” the game or anything. Not because they were going all Gloria on the coach. Not because they were starting altercations over team-treats with other parents.
No, it’s because they belittle their kids’ accomplishments.
And it drives me crazy.
Now, you’ll remember from an earlier post that Noah was struggling a little bit with the whole concept of “gettin-in-there” when it comes to soccer. He spent most of his games following the pack around, happy when the ball passed by him for a quick kick.
He also ended up having spurts of super-kid speed and strength once in a while. There were times when he would suddenly catch fire. He even scored a few goals during the season.
And whether he was simply trying to overcome his fear by getting more into the middle of the pack or was flying down the field like David Beckham, I was proud of him.
But boy howdy… when he was able to get that ball into the goal… you’d have thought I (and his mom and stepdad) had just witnessed the greatest sports moment of all time. And our excitement meant everything to him.
Halfway through the season, another kid on his team scored a goal. This was a kid similar to Noah in skill and boldness, and when he got a goal it was something incredible. And he did get a goal during this particular game.
And the coach started whoopin’ and hollerin’.
And the other parents started screamin’ and dancin’.
And I jumped out of my chair and celebrated for him.
And his dad, he wasn’t really watching. And he didn’t respond.
And that was sad because his kid had just had his burst of amazingness, stole the ball, and dribbled it all the way down the field for a goal you’d expect to see on a professional soccer field.
But his dad, like I said, wasn’t watching.
The coach noticed that he wasn’t watching or cheering and he said, “did you see that?! That was incredible! Johnny just scored a really good goal!”
And the dad looked at the coach and said, “I guarantee if he did it was an accident.” Then he started laughing.
And I wanted to smack him.
A couple games later another kid scored a goal. Different kid. Different dad. Only this kid was the team powerhouse. He was the driver that scored most of the goals. He was always in there kicking from the middle of the pack. He was something to watch.
And during this particular game, he emerged from a pile-up of kids, dodged incoming rivals, and pounded it in the goal.
The coach whooped and hollered.
The other parents screamed and danced.
I shouted his name and gave him a big thumbs up.
And his dad, he was watching. And he yelled at his kid. ”Jared, next time wait till you’re closer to kick it in the goal.”
There was no smile on his face. No excitement for what his kid had just done. Just determination that his kid will do it right the next time.
And I wanted to smack him.
Maybe that makes me imperfect or judgmental.
But damn, Dads. Your kids don’t suck. Your kids are incredible. And I’m betting they really wish you’d treat them as such.
Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing
PS. Have you experienced parents downsizing their kids accomplishments? Have you experienced parents who only see the faults in their kids accomplishments and not the more amazing fact that their kids just accomplished something? As a kid did you experience that? Sorry to rant today. This is just one that really gets under my skin.