Category Archives: Parenting

What Youth Sports Is All About

It’s nights like tonight that are, in my opinion, what youth sports are all about!  Before I elaborate let me go back a little bit.

At the beginning of the softball season for our youngest my wife and I were wondering if there would be enough girls to field a team and a parent willing to coach it.  As luck would have it we got both… 12 girls and a coach.

The coach asked if I would be willing to be an assistant.  I agreed to help out but admitted my knowledge and coaching ability is very limited.  That was OK and before you know it I was helping at a few practices and had the official hat and shirt.

Tonight was our first game of the season.  I was a little nervous as to how we would do.  We have a team with busy girls who couldn’t make every practice and Mother Nature forced us to miss some practices too.

You couldn’t have asked for a better night for a game.  Not too hot. Not too cold.  No bugs.

Perfect night for Little League Softball

My job was to keep the dug out organized, make sure the girls knew the batting order, and to help the catcher get geared up.

Here’s why I think tonight’s game is what youth sports should be about:

* Every girl played and appeared to have fun doing it.

* The girls supported each other without cutting down the other team.

* They listened.  They took direction… and they learned.

* They made a few good plays and the ones they missed they at least knew what they should have done.

* They hustled and worked hard.

* The parents were very supportive of the team

* They left the field smiling.  Happy with their effort.

Tonight’s game really was fun and even though we won 9-6 I believe had the score been reversed I would still feel the same way and written the same blog post.

I now also have a greater appreciation for coaches who volunteer their time.  It was hard for me to keep up with the action in the dug out and on the field… especially when you want to watch your kid play.

I did see my daughter get a hit, score a run, and have fun and do well playing one of her favorite positions: catcher.

Little League Softball Catcher

Rather than be apprehensive, tonight’s game has me looking forward to the rest of the season.  It’s going to be fun watching the girls work together and improve.

What do you think youth sports is (or should be) all about?

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Discussing The News With Kids

Earlier this week I wrote about what I’d make with the groceries Gwyneth Paltrow bought as part of a SNAP challenge.  I purposely took a light hearted approach to it… mainly because of all the negativity it has garnered online (and because talking politics isn’t really my thing).

What I didn’t expect was the conversation it would lead to in our house.  Ever since she was a guest blogger, my youngest has taken an interest in what I write.  She’s always asking about the next blog post and wants to read it as soon as it’s published.

She read the Gwyneth Paltrow piece and had several questions about food assistance programs.  Really good questions.  It gave my wife and I the opportunity to share our thoughts on the subject and also ask our daughter how she felt about it.

That conversation made me realize we should spend more time talking about the news and current events with our kids. I’d rather their views and opinions be based on our beliefs rather than what they hear from their friends, the news, or online.

What was the last news story you talked to your kids or grandkids about?  Was it interesting to get their take on it?

The most overwhelming key to a child's success is the positive involvement of parents.-Jane Hull Click To Tweet
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Picking Your Parenting Battles

The older my girls get the more I’m learning the importance of picking my parenting battles.  We’ve been down the road of make up before and now they’re starting to develop their own sense of fashion.

If either of them tried to leave the house in something a little too tight… or a little too short… or cut too low I’d have to step in.  Other than that I’m pretty much hands off when it comes to clothes.

This morning was one of those times that I questioned the clothing choice one of them made but decided to leave well enough alone.

Let me explain.  My oldest chose to wear one of her new dance shirts.  When she got the shirt I thought it was cute and would be fun for her to wear to dance practice.  I never thought she’d want to wear it to school.

The shirt? A white t-shirt with a grayish picture of some pointe shoes and the phrase, “Meet me at the barre”.  I knew her dance friends would get it but I wasn’t so sure about her teachers.


I subtly asked if she thought the shirt would cause her any trouble at school.  Perhaps I was projecting my own past on her.  I was maybe a year older than she is now when I got sent home to change for wearing a Spuds MacKenzie t-shirt.

My normally overcautious kid didn’t even blink.  “There’s nothing bad about it. It’s talking about a dance barre and it’s pointe shoes. If a teacher doesn’t like it I’ll just zip up my jacket.”

That was good enough for me.  I was curious how the day went so the first thing when I got home I asked about the shirt.

“My dance friends really liked it.  Only one teacher told me that she didn’t think it was appropriate so I wore my jacket during that class.”

Glad I didn’t use my parental veto on her wearing that shirt to school. I have a feeling I’m going to need it at some other point in the future.

What do you think? Would you have let your kid wear the shirt to school?

The best thing you can wear is self confidence. - Auliq Ice Click To Tweet
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