You son or daughter are on a Maine sports team.
That goes above and beyond from the beginning of the season’s predictions. And in fact the last game they win is one “where did that come from” out of the blue big deal. Happy team, beaming parents right? Wrong. The coach caught up in the excitement of playing beyond ability. Having lots of lucky breaks.The right calls is some kind of excited in the school’s history making. Jimmy’s Mom and Dad, well, not so much.
Jimmy is just glad to be on the bench of a winning team. Heck, strike that. Just on the team, win or lose. Regardless of the season’s record.
Happy to be part of a squad wearing the same colored jerseys. Doing his best to contribute even if only as a cheer leader. If not in the starting line up. Or getting much playing time. Taking stats.
Mom and Dad see the coach’s wife in a small Maine town at the local grocery.
They have never been introduced, not traveling in all the same circles. But they just know that is the Jimmy’s coach’s wife. They go out of their way to look annoyed, peeved and returning nothing but a sneer when the coach’s wife at the Piggly Wiggly smiles graciously. Snubbed, made to feel she did something wrong and being the target of snarky exchange to let her know their displeasure by what just took place. Guilt by association with her relationship to the coach. Anger, resentment all channeling to make sure she is not left out of the drama.
How come? Like the father right after the winning game told the head coach. Nothing about “good job Coach”. Or “way to orchestrate a win and hold it all together to make the home town proud”. Instead of attah boys, high fives and smiles. It’s sour faced and “You should have played my Jimmy more”.
How come Jimmy did not get put in the game asked under the bright swinging lone light bulb. The coach mentally seated, bound. Tied to the chair in an interrogation like, cell inquisition right here and now.
Whipped on the coach after the pretty spectacular game. Parents double teaming the coach. Killing the buzz of the win.
With the parents second guessing his handling of the sporting event even though hello. Our home team won people.
Ran into this treatment with a lady who had a hockey player son who Mom wanted to see skating, puck handling in the game.
But instead of letting the coach handle the who suits up, goes out, who is on the bench, she tries to go over his head. Calling the head of the minor hockey league. Working from above to hopefully trickle down to get a reversal on the coach’s decision.
She asked me to help in the cell calls, politics of hook or by crook to get junior in the game. On skates, stick in hand, hard charging out on the sheet of ice. I watched as kids on the bench cranked their head to see what the commotion in the stands was all about. As I said guys, focus on the game. Eyes on the puck. Heads in the game. Be in gear for your 53 second shift on the fly shift change coming up. Be sharp, be ready.
I under my breath told the mother we have to think of the game, the coach runs the show.
And she said I would help you if it was your kid. I told her you have to think of the whole team. Not rattle them during this game now underway and no one, fans included benefiting from a major distraction. Hub bub in the hockey stands. Which happened to be next door in Canada. She clearly, firmly told me “I don’t care about the rest of the team, I just care about my kid.” Whoa, there is the problem.
We are the front line best advocate for our children as Mama and Papa Bear. Have four, two of each flavor and all different. Needing differently handling, love, attention. But lessons to learn above and beyond the affection for your cubs. Respect for authority has to happen. Helicopter parents, can be all about too much involvement missing the stability a child needs. It can be a parent with the best of intentions gone haywire. The term helicopter parents coined in 1969 to describe the parent with the label hyper present, psychologically absent. Dr Haim Ginott wrote about a mother who the complaining son says she “hovers over me like a helicopter”.
Helicopter parents | Too much presence, the wrong kind of presence.
And add to it cell phones everyone holds, carries. Cradles in their neck, up to their ear. Or loud and clear beaming in through ear buds, blue toothes.
That cell phone being described as the longest umbilical cord.
And with rising costs of college educations, the parent justifying the helicoptering as just protecting their investment. Monitoring the process, progress for the young adult. Who should be the one carrying more and more of the weight of their decision making, education, life on their own out of the nest. Let the coach coach, players play, refs ref and enjoy the sport. Without being a helicopter parent.
Good luck Houlton Shiretowners, Hodgdon Hawks basketball teams in the state championship playoffs this weekend in Augusta, Maine! Aroostook County is proud of your season’s performance. The skill, confidence, poise, resiliency you demonstrate. You all are one solid unit. Coaches, managers, team players. Each and everyone a solid team that will continue to show class proudly in Saturday’s game downstate. In the pursuit to bring home the coveted gold ball.