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Can Parents Be Over-Involved in Kids’ Sports?

As good parents, we want to show interest in our kids’ activities, encourage our kids in whatever they choose to do, and help our kids achieve success in their endeavors.   However, can we do this TOO MUCH?  What harm could possibly come from our alleged over-involvement?  Are there rewards that make the risk of this harm worth it?  Read on to learn more.

What harm could possibly come from  alleged parental over-involvement in kids’ sports?

If we become allegedly too involved in our kids’ sports, we may encroach on their private space.  They may feel crowded by our presence.  We may inadvertently cause our kids to distance themselves from us and the sports they love.  Our kids could lose scholarships and other opportunities due to their dropping out of sports.  Other kids may tease our kids about our alleged over-involvement.  Our kids may develop social and self-esteem difficulties because of our choices.  We may coach from the sidelines and offend the actual coaching staff and other parents as well.   Broken relationships may result.  We may end up helping our kids learn failure rather than success.

Are there rewards that make the risk of this harm worth it?

If we become allegedly too involved in our kids’ sports, we may behaviorally communicate to our kids that they come first in our lives.  We may develop a greater familiarity with our kids’ friends.  We may reduce the risk of our kids becoming involved in drugs, alcohol, etc. due to our greater presence in their lives.  We may become aware of and help our kids access opportunities about which they may otherwise have been unaware or unable to access.  We may help our kids achieve success in their endeavors.

Can parents be over-involved in kids’ sports?

The quick answer to this question is yes, but, in practical application, the answer depends on how we manifest our alleged over-involvement and how our kids’ perceive our alleged over-involvement.  If we manifest by shouting scathing criticisms of sports officials and players as we act out a pseudo-coach role, or if our kids feel crowded or pressured by our presence, then we are, indeed, over-involved.   Alternatively, if we are respectful of people and space, and our kids welcome our alleged over-involvement, then a third-parties’ perception of alleged over-involvement should not deter us from supporting our kids as we and our kids deem appropriate.

In sum, we, as parents, must assess how we manifest and how our kids perceive our alleged over-involvement.  There is no one-size-fits-all approach to this; you and your kids must find the level of parental involvement that best suits you all.

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