Posted by Find Kids Sports on 03/15/2016

How I became a better parent through my kids' sports experiences

Author: Janis Meredith

How I became a better parent through my kids' sports experiences

Sometimes kids are not the only ones who learn character lessons from playing sports. Parents can learn too. After 16 years of being a sports mom, I know that I have become a better parent.

  1. I learned when to keep my mouth shut. Sometimes your kids don’t want questions after practice or after a game. You gotta know your kid and let them talk when they are ready. And then, be ready to just listen.
  2. I learned that my worrying doesn’t help them play better. It just gives me a nervous stomach!
  3. I learned to not be a control freak. Let them fight their own battles. Let them learn from their mistakes. Let them reap what they sow. Let them suffer the consequences of their choices.
  4. I learned that what I model at home is what my kids model before their teammates. If I trash talk teammates or coaches, they will most likely do the same. But if I am positive and build up the team and coach, they are more likely to reflect that to their team.
  5. I learned to let the coach be the coach, and I will be the parent. He has his job; I have mine. If I think I know more than the coach, then maybe I should take his place. Pointers and tips and help at home are okay when asked, but pushing my kids like a coach only added tension to our relationship.
  6. I learned that being positive helps me have a better relationship with my kid. Sometimes I can be a “negative nancy” and when I saw how this frustrated my kids, I knew I had to work on my attitude!
  7. I learned that kids want me to be their fan, but they don’t want me to embarrass them at games. ‘Nough said.
  8. I learned how ridiculous I look when I rant at the refs. And how did I learn that? By seeing how other parents look when they rant, and cringing as I remember how I screamed at the refs just the game before.
  9. I learned that sometimes it’s okay to step into the fight. I’ve calmly approached refs after the game and expressed my discontent at their call. As a coach, my husband was thrown out of a game for defending his players. There is a time and a place for our kids to know that we are on their side.
  10. I learned to love my kids no matter how they perform. If they had a bad game, they know it and don’t need any reminders from me. They just need my support and unconditional love.
  11. I learned to respect their choices of when to play a sport and when to move on. Even though we may be extremely disappointed for them to give up a sport, especially when they are good players, if they don’t have the desire and motivation to play the game, it will be a season of battles and negative attitudes.

These are 11 lessons I wish I could have learned before my kids started playing sports! But hey, now I’m ready for sports grandparenting!


For more Positive Sportsparenting tips from Janis, visit and check out Janis’ Sports Parenting Survival Guide Series.

From The Sports Parenting Podcast | JBM Thinks, post How I became a better parent through my kids’ sports experiences


I am a young athlete

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