Sport is supposed to be fun, but it is due to its competitive nature that people, including parents, team members, and coaches, tend to show their worst side without thinking what kind of affect their behavior could be having on teens, who aren’t mentally strong or resilient enough to sustain the pressure or insults. A growing number of researchers agree that bullying in youth sports force kids to give up. As parents, there’s a lot of responsibility on your shoulders pertaining to keeping your youngsters protected from bullying in sports, including your own possible role in crushing them with the load of your expectations and reaction upon their failure to meet those expectations.
Start with a Little Soul Searching
As strange as it sounds, parents can also be bullies. It is in the heat of the moment that parents unintentionally and unconsciously put their teens under immense pressure to perform well. They may do this by showing disappointment verbally, through facial expressions, or by actually voicing their expectations. Some parents do not even hesitate to shout at the competing team after their kid lose any game. This may be out of love, but that of course doesn’t justify this kind of behavior. This is hardly the sort of behavior kids should be getting exposed to as chances are they’ll start imitating it as well. When it comes to sports, you need to make sure your body language and behavior is not hurting your kids. If you are guilty of putting your kids under overwhelming pressure of winning, then it’s time to change your behavior. Support your kids whether they are playing well or not. Playing sports is not just about winning, it’s about becoming mentally and physical fit.
Talk to Kids More Often
It is very important for you to talk to your kids about bullying before they join sports so that they know how to deal with it in case they encounter it. Sometimes, coaches and team members perpetrate bullying, but kids are unable to seek out help out of fear. If your kids suddenly begin showing poor performance in sports and even studies, then waste no time in reaching the conclusion that something isn’t right. It’s best to talk to kids and get them to open up about whatever it is that’s bothering them. If it’s a bullying situation, get them to name the person responsible. Assure them of your support and protection, and that you won’t let them or other kids suffer.
Share Your Concerns with the School Administration
Upon learning about sports bullying from your kids, waste no time in getting in touch with the school administration and bringing the problem to their attention. Request them to act fast and take an action against the perpetrators, lest more kids suffer at their hands.