Some parents just don't get it

Being a parent is not an easy task. A few weeks ago my 8-year son joined a football academy. People in other parts of the world would call this a soccer academy. I have to say it came as a real surprise to me as I was never the sports kind of person. So I would like to be believe that my doubts are understable - wrong genes, etc. But I did what all good parents do. I let my son pursue his hobby in the hope that he would enjoy himself or, at least, learn a few things. 
kids playing football
image credit: owenfinn16
A few days ago, he took part in his first tournament. There were five teams of 7 to 8-year old kids. 
I thought my son would have fun with other kids, instead of staying at home playing on the X-box. Imagine my surprise when the first match started and the screams from the parents started coming. I understand the noise made when supporting a team, but it wasn't anything like that.
It was like a war zone. The parents were more vocal than the coach. At one point I thought would start punching each other or something along those lines.
Things got really nasty very quickly. I have no idea what kind of thoughts went through the coach's mind, but I am sure if it was possible, he would have shown a few of the parents some red cards.
It's not surprising that some of the kids were confused. They didn't know whether to listen to their parents or to the coach. In fact, it's surprising that they still want to play football at all.
So what's the problem?
When I see parents behaving like this, I just can't help but think that they don't have their kids' welfare at heart. They are just trying to fulfil their own ambitions. It's like they believe their kids are simply the best and can be turned into money-making machines in the near future. They have got their budgets done. 
I have a strong reason to believe that the fact that Floyd "Money" Mayweather made almost 80 million dollars in one night a few days earlier had some influence on some of the parents' behaviour. :-) They seem to have lost touch with reality and actually forget some of the reasons why we, as parents, register our children for extracurricular activities. For sure, it's not about finding reasons to shout at them or to humiliate them in front of their friends.. 
So I thought you could help me create a list of good reasons why children should have extracurricular activities. I mean the good reasons. I will go first. Add your suggestions in the comments section below.
The list of good reasons your kid should have extracurricular activities:
  1. To develop the habit of systematic work. The importance of systematic work should not be underestimated. Success in any field requires hard, relentless and systematic work. It's all about building good habits. If you don't believe, check out the book "7 habits of successful people" or "The Power of Habit"
  2. For health reasons. I believe this one goes without saying. Sports like football, are good for your child's health. Although sometimes legs or other parts of the body get broken, the overall effect is usually worth it. :-) 
  3. Social reasons. These days children are spending too much time in front of the TV or computer. We should use every opportunity possible to send our kids outdoors. Let them make more real than virtual friends.
  4. Networking. We all know and understand the importance of networking. Though it's possible to do it online, nothing beats real life connections. Let your child know that the connections he makes now, might come in handy in future. Also teach them to be likeable. It's an investment that will pay off, when the time comes. 
  5. Free time for the overworked Mom
  6. This space is reserved for you. Make use of it. Leave your reasons in the comments below.


Fri, 15 Nov 2013