You’re sitting in the bleachers or in your comfy chair on the sidelines watching your darling daughter (DD) at bat. Your DD swings. The ump calls strike. Next pitch your DD doesn’t swing. The ump calls strike. You protest. The pitch was clearly outside. You saw it. You wave your arms. You shout. Your DD glances over at you, distracted. You know what? You, yes you, were softball trash talking. And you just failed your DD.
Softball trash talking is not okay. No matter how bad the call seems to you, no matter how much “cheating” you think you see from the opposing team, it is not your job as a parent to protest, shout or otherwise vocalize negative, angry opinions. If unfair play, unfair calls or anything else is going on during the game it is your DD’s coaches’ responsibility to deal with it immediately and calmly. Not yours. If you can’t handle the pressure of keeping your mouth shut, then take a walk: Circle the field. Walk to the port-a-potty. Move your body, not your mouth.
Your 24/7 job as a parent is to encourage, support and offer positive reinforcement to your DD. On the ball field and off. Shouts that are welcome? “Atta girl. Good swing.” “You go girl!” Find the positive. As my DD says, “Fart rainbows.”
Your DD is learning how to handle life — the good and the bad — and by watching how you, her adult parent, handle it: If you shout, belittle and taunt officials, opposing team coaches, or God forbid, opposing team players, she hears you, sees you and learns how you think she should behave. Be the bigger person: Suck it up. Show your DD how to be graceful under pressure. And you know what? The world will be a better place.