Jennifer Jasiczek

Snippets of my crazy life.

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"There are no bad kids - just bad parents"

The title of the post is probably my favorite quote from my father.  I love it, because it is TRUTH!

Being the mother of five, I’ve had the opportunity to encounter many different children and their parents for 16 yrs.  I’ve said this for a couple of years now, but soccer parents are the worse. No, really, we are.

This past weekend, my daughter participated in a soccer tournament.  We knew we would have fun, there would be some aggression, some fouls and some great shots taken on goal.  Overall I thought the girls would have a good time, shake hands and move on. What I witnessed during a game was one child on the opposing team consistently fouling her opponent, yelling at her own teammates (including foul language) AND yelling at the referee.  I would have tolerated about 15 seconds of this behavior from my own kid before I would be up out of my chair on my way to the coach to have him/her yank my kid out of the game. I was mortified for her parents - except her parents weren’t mortified.  They supported and encouraged this behavior.  It is a shame her behavior overshadows her talent, because she is a good player.

Parents please - you must not ignore your responsibility to raise decent human beings:

  • Fouling - it happens in soccer. We sometimes call it the chicken wing syndrome (sticking the elbow out). Fouling is nothing other than cheating.  Do you want your child to gain advantage by cheating - even if the referee doesn’t call them out on it? What are you teaching them? Let me answer for you - NOTHING. I don’t have to explain to you the far reaching implications this has.  
  • Disrespecting authority - one short answer for you - You need to save some bail money because she clearly doesn’t understand there are limits and I see a criminal problem in your future. Listen sweetie - when you question the referee’s knowledge the chances you getting a call when you are fouled are slim to none. They will just hang you out to dry and let you eat turf.  
  • Team player - soccer is a sport which requires a group of people to work together to get the ball into the goal.  Whether you believe it or not, you really do need to play nice in all facets of life.  Telling your teammates how incompetent they are doesn’t foster an environment to be successful.   And frankly, this was bullying. This tactic only works on the playground until you are no longer the loudest or biggest. Eventually even bullies get theirs.

The true failure here is the parenting: When you don’t set limits your kids make them and frankly can we blame children when they take the easiest route? I certainly don’t. It’s already Wednesday evening and I am still processing what I witnessed. I appalled at the child’s behavior towards our girls, her teammates, the coach and the referee. But seriously, what still has me shaking my head is her parents lack of, well parenting. I was sitting with a friend and thankfully I know she would have set her child straight and she knows I would have done the same.  

There is something to be said about confidence - It’s great to have and I can testify confidence has taken me places in my career my skill set alone would not have. But there is a line everywhere. This child crossed it over and over again. She crossed it because her parents hadn’t shown her where the line is.

Filed under parenting soccer youth soccer