Tuesday, April 20, 2010


According to Merriam Webster, to respect someone is to "consider worthy of high regard".
As a kid, I was taught to respect, not only my parents, but elders, teachers, coaches, etc.

Is that still the norm? I'm beginning to wonder what has happened to teach our kids respect for other people.

I was chatting with a coworker a few days ago and our conversation navigated into the topic of sports. My daughter plays soccer and his kids do too, so we usually end up comparing notes since our kids play in different leagues. I was telling him about my experience as a coach this past soccer season, and he shared with me the behavior he has seen from some of the kids. For starters, kids openly defying the coaches when given an order, telling them "you are not my parent, I don't have to do what you say", or even sitting out during a tournament because they don't want to play the position the coach has assigned to them.

Whatever happened to teaching your kids to respect other adults besides their parents? Is that teaching outdated?

I certainly hope not. I don't know everything when it comes to parenting. Truth be told, I probably know little to nothing, but there are a few things I want my kids to remember always, and one of those is to respect all people, specially those who have something to offer/teach them: teachers, coaches, pastors.

How are these children suppose to learn how to be a part of a team, when their parents allow them to act this way? How are they to learn camarederie and good sportsmanship when they disrespect the person guiding them through the games, and even their teammates?

Coaching is not an easy job, as I learned last season. We don't get paid, most of us volunteer our time because we want our kids to have the opportunity to learn a sport, remain healthy, and learn how to be a part of a team. I know many of us don't do it because we have "free" time or because we just have endless hours in our days. The last thing we need is a child who is disrespectful towards us.

Coaching is hard. It is not easy to remain calm when your team is not listening to your directions. It is not easy to discipline someone else's child while their parents are watching. It is not an easy job.

So if you are a parent of a child who plays sport, please remind your child to show respect for the coach. Yes, there are coaches out there who makes parents like myself lose their calm, who disrespect the kids in the name of sports. I don't tolerate that. But that's a battle for the parent, not the kid.

I don't agree with children disrespecting adults in any situation, warranted or not. My children know it, and they are constantly reminded when I see another child disrespect an adult in their presence.

So if you ever see one my kids be disrespectful to an adult in your presence, please correct them, I beg you!
And then tell me, so I can make sure they get a lesson in respect directly from me. I don't want my kids to join those children who are growing up thinking disrespecting others is acceptable.