10 Obnoxious Parent Things I Will Never Do at My Kid's Game

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People are crazy. And there's no place to better illustrate that fact than on the sidelines at any kids' sporting event.

Picture insane screaming parents making fools out of themselves and living vicariously through little Timmy’s ability to kick a ball into a goal. It's nuts! But the yelling and aggressiveness is only one of the bad behaviors I keep running into at children’s sporting events.

So I’ve made a pact with myself: There are some things I will never do on the sidelines or from the bleachers while my offspring are participating in a sporting event. Here they are ...

1. I won’t shout at someone else’s kid. Unless I’m yelling, “Great job!” or “Good try!” (I reserve the right to yell at my own kids, though. Especially things like “Quit filling your pockets with leaves, this is a soccer game!”) 

2. I won’t demean my own kid when they fail. Because they feel bad enough for messing up already. And also because it’s a game. Save the parental disappointment for something that matters, like when they drop your iPhone in the toilet. 

3. I won’t be the obnoxious stat-tracker. I won’t report on how many goals my daughter has scored this season, or how many shots my son has made, or dear God I won’t shove a spreadsheet in the coach’s face to make a point about my kid’s playing time.

4. I won’t pace like a coach. Up and down the sideline ... following the action, berating the ref, shadowing the players. You know why I won’t do it? Because bleachers exist for a reason, and because I don’t want to block the seated parents’ view, and because I don’t want them looking at my ass the whole game.

5. I won’t litter. I don’t want to sit in some mystery leftover sticky wrappers-and-bottles mush, and you don’t either. I will be a good example for the precious children by putting my king-size Butterfinger wrapper in the trash can.

6. I won’t bring my dog. Yes, your Doberman is beautiful. Yes, you keep saying “she loves children.” Yes, I also am not blind to the fact that your dog is scaring the hell out of half the kids here. Why don’t you see it, too? Oh, and what’s that smell?

7. I won’t be vulgar or inappropriate. Even if my kid hears those words at home all the time, I recognize that other children might not. I’m sure you won’t appreciate me when your 3-year-old comes home from big sister’s game with a colorful vocabulary.

8. I won’t use the time as social hour. “Did you see me score, Mommy?” If my answer to that question is ever “no,” then obviously 1) I will lie about it, and 2) I will feel like a turd. Sure, I’ll talk to you, but I’ll keep my eyes on the game, thanks.

9. I won’t pollute your air. Not that I smoke, but if I did, I’d do it far away from everyone else. AND DOWNWIND. If you are coughing and choking from my cigarette smoke and miss your kid’s moment due to the secondhand haze, then I give you the right to approach me in the parking lot and will allow you a pass on #7.

10. I won’t be a jackass! If I don’t feel like encouraging both teams—or if I can’t control my behavior at a game for little children—then I won’t come. Or I’ll sit far enough away that my kid still knows I’m there but won’t get embarrassed by Mommy. I embarrass them in plenty of other ways already.

Five years from now, no one will remember the score at the end of today’s game—including your child. But I promise your kid will remember if you get carded by the ref, or escorted out of the gym by security, or tarred-and-feathered by a posse of parents who have had enough of your idiocy. So how about we all cool it. OK?


Image via Scary Mommy 

activities, sports


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socal... socalmommy13

Lmao! Some parents are just crazy! I get that way watching NFL. The actual pro ball! No a little kids game. Maybe they are hoping their kid it the next super star! Lol

nonmember avatar NoWay

A couple years ago, I was a complete jackass at my son's baseball tournament. One of the other parents even commented on how it's a good thing there was a fence between me and the umpire and he thought I was about to tear it down. I admit that I was really wrapped up in the moment, but I acted like a complete jerk and am still embarrassed. :-) Now I have to make sure I don't get too excited and into sporting events because I know how much of an ass I can be. (But, hey ... at least I admit it!)

nonmember avatar kate

My stepsons mother talks to the other mothers or on the phone through every game they have. The look on the boys face when they score and they realize she wasn't watching is heartbreaking. Put the damn phone down and pay attention to your kid. They will be grown before you know it. It bothers me that I care more about their game than their own mother.

Summe... Summerlion1123

I agree to all except 6. If its an outdoor game at a dog friendly park I'll bring my dog if I want to. But I'm not an obnoxious pet owner that will let my dog run loose or get all up in a small child's face or the many other crappy things pet owners do. If my dog is scaring a kid he's probably standing too close to me anyway ;)

Candace Ross

A good list--except maybe about the dog. It really depends on the dog, sure some dogs are intimidating and not well behaved to be in crowds, but plenty of dogs do just fine. We have a six-year old English Setter who lies down next to us at soccer games, and is VERY popular with my sons' teammates. If you do bring your dog just be sure to clean up after it.

mamoo... mamoore83

I agree with this list. The last one I'm completely for not being a jack a, but I do cheer for my son and his team not the other team. I don't see how that's the same as being a jack a. I get if you are booing the other team or something.

Lolo Loloah

Sometimes these articles are very demeaning....You won't bring your dog, but I would...YOU may not keep track your child's success, but YOU may not be thinking of a sports career for YOUR child...YOU may not pace like a coach, but heck yeah I would...and you wanna know why?  Because I am the BEST coach for my child!  I wouldn't berate and I think those two should not be confused or mixed. 

Anyway, it's okay to have your own opinion on things but classifying people as "jackasses" or my dog "stinks" or YOUR opinion of people "making fools of themselves" are other people's securing futures for their children...so have an opinion but as you said yourself, do not berate others

count... countrygirl2.0

#4 should include to not be a sideline coach as you are pacing!! i am an assistant coach for my daughters team and the biggest irritation are sideline coaches!! the players get confused when they have 15 different people yelling at them what to do! one thing parents need to remember.....the coaches are volunteering their time. if you believe you can do a better job, then by all means, do it. every year we deal with parents complaining about certain things, yet when help is needed, they are nowhere to be found. the closest i ever came to playing soccer was in gym class. but when it came down to needing a coach for my daughters team, it was only myself and one other parent that volunteered. she did not have any soccer background as well. we were ripped apart from the beginning. and still, no one would step up. we did our best and 3 years later, are still coaching. we have a winning team. but of course, we hear about it when they dont win. we have even had our team stand up for us. after losing a playoff game, one of the dads (he believes he is David Beckham!) proceeded to tell us how awful we were at coaching (regardless of making playoffs), his daughter stood up and said "maybe you should coach then dad". and the rest of the team stood up and agreed. dad just walked away. we always remind our players they are there to learn and have fun. and thats what they do. parents really need to stop living through their children!

wamom223 wamom223

I come from a loud cheering family.  We've never had any problems though because we keep it positive.  We try not to be distracting but when something awesome happens its hard for us to keep it cool and quiet.  I don't know what sports my son will be really into yet but I want to be there to support him, not embarrass him.  #8 makes me giggle because there are always people/parents that think just being there is enough and that they don't have to pay attention.  Before there were cell phones these people usually brought books or magazines and I've found in my experience they hard to get through too.  I knew someone with a mom like that in high school and it was so sad to listen to them argue about it.

nonmember avatar Emily

Oh my gosh, yes! We have custody of my 8th grade brother-in-law, he plays on the 8th grade basketball team, and I go to his games and I'm like "For heaven's sake, people, this is not the NCAA! It's not even the IHSAA (high school), it's freaking middle school basketball, get a grip!" You'd think their kids had a college scholarship riding on that game or something, I'm like this is not that deep, let them play and have fun and shut up!

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