The ball park lights are on. It’s
that special time of year. Youth baseball is in full swing.
The Parent Guide to Little League Baseball
was written by Dr. Rainer Martens, president, Human Kinetics Publishers,
Inc. and adjunct professor, University of Illinois. Here is part of
his Parents’ Checklist for Success
- Can you share your son or daughter?
This means trusting the coach to guide your child’s
Little League experiences. It means accepting the coach’s
authority and the fact that he or she may gain some of your child’s
admiration that once was directed toward you.
Can you accept your child’s disappointments?
Sometimes being a parent means being a target
for a child’s anger and frustration. Accepting your child’s
disappointment also means watching your child play poorly during
a game when all of his or her friends succeed, or not being embarrassed
into anger when your 10-year-old breaks into tears after a failure.
Keeping your frustration in check will help you guide your son or
daughter through disappointments.
Can you accept your child’s triumphs?
This sounds much easier than it often is. Some
parents, not realizing it, may become competitive with their daughter
or son, especially if the youngster receives considerable recognition.
When a child plays well in a game, parents may dwell on minor mistakes,
describe how an older brother or sister did even better, or boast
about how they played better many years ago.
Can you give your child some time?
Some parents are very busy, even though they are
interested in their child’s participation and want to encourage
it. Probably the best solution is never to promise more than you
can deliver. Ask about your child’s experiences, and make
every effort to watch at least some games during the season.
Can you let your child make her or his own decisions?
Decision making is an essential part of a young
person’s development, and it is a real challenge to parents.
It means offering suggestions and guidance but finally, within reasonable
limits, letting the child go his or her own way. All parents have
ambitions for their children, but parents must accept the fact that
they cannot mold their children’s lives. Little League offers
parents a minor initiation into the major process of letting go.