The Ego Dad

This will be a brief, and perhaps painful, essay on how easily we can let our own instincts and expectations get in the way of what our children’s expectations are. Have you ever been to a sports function where The coach was clearly someone’s dad? Have you ever seen the coach gets so enraged that he actually started throwing things like his own hat and stepping on it? You’re thinking in your mind, this is only a game right? This is the same person who will scream at the empire or referee at the top of his Longs, or just walk away from the field while his kid is running after him feeling dejected and like a failure… This might be to visceral an image but it is one that I have personally seen played out time and again.  The coach was clearly someone’s dad? Have you ever seen that coach gets so enraged that he actually started throwing things like his own hat and stepping on it? You’re thinking in your mind, this is only a game right? This is the same person who will scream at the empire or referee at the top of his Longs, or just walk away from the field while his kid is running after him feeling dejected and like a failure… This might be too visceral an image but it is one that I have personally seen played out time and again.  have you ever seen the movie were the father sneaks into the room where his daughter is holding hands on the couch with her boyfriend? The father usually freaks out and says some pretty intense stuff to the boyfriend because the father remembers at one point he was the man on the couch holding his girlfriend’s hand… He knew what was going through his mind. It’s pretty easy to get carried away by our emotions for our expectations when we are starting to lose control over a given situation, but it’s very important that we keep in mind that well we might be losing control the people around us might actually be gaining control…  specifically our kids. When children see a dogs behaving badly they usually become very embarrassed and put a lot of distance between them and the adults, or they start to develop feelings and emotions towards that type of person and never quite learn how to deal with those types of people and become non-combative and reserved. Being confrontational is not the way to deal with this, but there are some things we can do to be mindful of this type of behavior so that the effect on our children doesn’t have a chance to take hold.  The most important thing for us to remember is in a sport setting, given that the child is not in high school or being so guarded by a college, the most important thing here is kids are learning how to play as a team and how to have fun with the group. It’s important to remember that this is an organize type of fun! Winning is not a crucial ingredient in the early stages of engaging in sports. While winning is definitely a nice feeling somebody always loses…  Learning how to lose is probably more important in the beginning then learning how to win, obviously this is an opinion, both are equally important to navigate but it’s important early on to teach your child how to lose with grace and dignity as well as how to win with grace and dignity.  Often times we see the Dad becoming extremely animated in a sporting environment that becomes borderline type behavior. I have personally witnessed a coach that inspires more fear than team play. We have to continuously remind ourselves that this is a game, somebody has to lose that game, and the game is being played by people who are inherently flawed which opens the door to mistakes being made on all sides and all fronts.  Grace and dignity are pretty important attributes to impart to our children. We can’t get in the way of ourselves, we can’t get in the way of our kids, we have to learn how to temper are emotions an environment that can shape what our children do for enjoyment versus what they feel they need to do to please us.  This is an important thing to remember when we are either standing on the sidelines cheering, or sitting in the dugout screaming. You can inspire more with the well-placed a verbal command than you will ever achieve by screaming a command, and this applies to all areas of life not just sports. There are many things that make our tempers flare, and our passions rise to the four, we have to learn to swallow these at real inopportune times. I know it’s not as simple as just being able to do it but life if nothing else is always a work in progress…