To protect the innocent, I’ll be vague with the reference to who this is exactly.
A conversation with “someone” this weekend revealed what I think is an ill in today’s society. A weak society. This “someone” got a call from their 9 year old son’s school because he won too much at basketball during lunch recess. That’s right. He had been playing basketball with his friend, and apparently they won every game they played. Now he is forbidden to play basketball “on the same team” as his friend at lunch.
This makes me sick on so many different levels.
First. What’s wrong with the kids!? I hope I’m not starting to sound like my parents with a “when I was a kid” story. But when I was a kid (there I go) nothing like this happened. Hey I never always won at playground sports. And if I lost, I didn’t cry to my mommy. Although at times I was a sore loser (more like many times), but that’s another story. I left my crying and pouting on the field.
Second. What’s wrong with the parents!? If my son ever comes home to me whining about losing a playground game… Let me stop. He isn’t because hopefully I raise him right. But lets just pretend there is an odd chance he does. Well then son, I’ll say, 1) we can go out and work on your basketball skills, 2) you can just try your hardest and hold your head up and learn and get better from the losses, or 3) you can take up another sport or activity. I’d never call the freaking school and whine about my son losing.
What next? Cry to the schools when Johnny boy loses a spelling bee for hmmmm let me think… spelling something wrong. Ring, ring ring. “Hello?” “Um yeah hello school, I have a complaint. My son spelled cat kat, but I think he should still share first prize. Or else his self esteem will be shot and he’ll become a serial killer. You don’t want to live with that on you conscience, do you?”
Third. What’s wrong with the school!? Can’t they just say, “Listen parent, your son can’t win at everything. It’s not our responsibility to enforce talent parity during schoolyard activities.”
I see this more and more. When I was a kid (oh no, here I go again!) sports were sports. You had some really good players and some really bad ones. Well that is true today, but today the bad ones are coddled way too much. I see it in little league baseball. I see Johnny boy striking out in the most embarrassing way possible. No problem yet. But the parents CHEER them on when they do! Big problem there. I’m not a crazed lunatic sports parent type, but spare the kid the flattery. They see right through it. Just tell the kid to try hard and better luck next time. Don’t cheer his strike out or error like the kid just pitched a perfect game.
And when I was a kid (man I’m getting used to this!), sippy cups of juice, fruit roll ups, and other tasty snacks were left for after the game. Although I remember them more as hot dogs and soda, but that’s even ANOTHER story all together. During game time, you focused on the game. Now you got the parents meddling during the games.
Let me emphasize that I know there is bullying. And this is way way way beyond that. Taunting and beating up on kids is one thing, losing a pickup game of basketball is another. And this is way way way beyond the lunatic sports parents and coaches that yell at their kids during the game. Is there a happy medium anywhere?