What are we teaching our kids? It’s okay to be a jerk?

I’m fired up. I’m outraged.  And here’s why…

Tonight at baseball, we played a team who was (and still is) undefeated.  Our boys didn’t expect to win, and they played their hearts out anyway.

It didn’t take long for us to see that this team played dirty.  We’ve played a lot of games this season, but this is the first time we encountered a team like this.  I won’t bore you with the details of the game.  Let’s just say, this other team was pushing the envelope. Neither the players nor the coaches demonstrated good sportsmanship.

But that’s not what got me fired up.  Twice during the game, one of their pitchers hit one of our batters with the ball. And BOTH times, they laughed. LAUGHED! I kid you not. I couldn’t make this stuff up.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m well aware that kids get hit by pitches all the time. It’s part of the game. But this was unlike anything I’d ever seen. The first time one of our kids got hit, it was really hard in the thigh.  This nine-year old boy was laying on the ground crying. Nine year old boys don’t like to cry in front of other nine year old boys. Enough said.

There those boys stood, laughing.

The second time one of our kids got hurt, he took a fast pitch in the back. He, too, was lying on the ground writhing in pain.

Yet again, there they stood, laughing.

Their parents said nothing and their coaches said nothing.  I am disgusted.  Even my husband, who gets fired up about very little in life, was appalled by this behavior.

A few days ago, we played a team who we absolutely creamed.  Yet those kids were so well behaved and took the loss like champs. Their coaches were so encouraging and kind to their kids.  And as we were leaving some of the parents of the other team yelled out to us, “good game, guys!”  What a pleasant experience that was for us – not the game itself, but the interaction with the other team. Those kids set a good example for how to handle losing and how to interact with an opponent.

Now this. What are we teaching our kids? Who cares how you treat people as long as you win?  No.  That is not what I’m teaching my kids. Playing sports is more than the physical aspect. It’s about the attitude and the behavior.  If that was my child up there laughing at another boy that he’d hurt, I’d have pulled him from that game so fast he wouldn’t have known what hit him.

Hang on. Give me a sec.

[Breathe, Steph. Settle down, girl. Deep breath in. Deep breath out.]

Okay, I’m back.  I’m feeling more Zen now.

On the plus side, thankfully, that wasn’t my son behaving that way. Thankfully, that wasn’t my son who got hit.  Thankfully, my son isn’t on that team with those idiot coaches.

I will go to sleep tonight being thankful for those three things, but feeling sorry for the boys who think it’s okay to treat others that way.

Comments

  1. Amanda Scott says:

    I have 3 boys and 2 of them were in baseball this year. Let me tell you- I was the mom who did PULL her son aside and say, get your mind right this is not how we treat people. AND I did this loud enough so EVERYONE could hear what I was saying. I also said he had to apologize in front of EVERYONE. I understand your frustration and with my mouth I probably would have gotten in trouble because I would have said something to the other coach. I want my kids in sports to help teach them good sportsmanship- life isn’t about always winning, you have to learn to lose before you can really win.

    • Go you, Amanda! That’s just it… Kids do stupid things. When I was a kid, I remember telling a friend that I didn’t like the birthday gift she gave me. When I told my parents, we were on our way out of town (I forget where we were going). They turned the car around and made me go to that girl’s house to apologize. I will never forget that. As a mom, I have made my kids do things like that when they were hurtful to someone else. They are not always nice, nor will they always be nice. But it’s up to us to point out when their behavior is out of line. It’s up to us to show them the importance of an apology. That did not happen here.

      BTW, embarrassing them is a good way to assure they don’t do it again. I’m right there with ya, sista!

  2. That is disgusting. How can parents sit idly by when this happens? UGH.

    • That’s the true crime. Some of us said something to the parents as they walked by at the end of the game. They were so rude back and said, “nobody was laughing at anybody.” Oh, laughing they were. I assure you. It’s just not something any of us had witnessed before in all the MANY games we’ve played. I told my son that if he was on a team that allowed/promoted that type of behavior, I’d have pulled him long ago.

  3. that maks me so sad!!! if I was there I would have freaked! well, my hubby would have pulled me away before I embarrassed myself, so I wouldn’t have gotten the justice I felt was needed, but anyways. that sucks. thank goodness your son is on a better team than that!!

    • I have to say, my son’s team is great. His coaches are great. They would not have allowed that. None of the parents on our team would have allowed that. We were all appalled. I just don’t get it. I really don’t.

  4. Oh boy, can I relate. We have 5 boys and three of them are currently in sports. I’m not as appalled at the kids behavior as much as I am at the parent’s and coaches lack of response to the situation. It seems that people in places of leadership, when it comes to our kids, are either unequipped to do their job, or they underestimate the importance of the responsibility they hold. It leaves the caring, concerned parents in a position to have to sign up to coach, lead and teach everything. I share your concern and frustration, and give you my support and encouragement!!

    • I couldn’t agree more. Kids are kids and they do stupid things. But it’s up to us to set them straight. At the very least, they should have apologized. Our coach did go over and talk to their coaches about it, but nothing was done.

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