Most parents try to teach their children how to behave in a civilized society, to “share” and to “be nice,” yet those same parents toss the rules when they attend their own child’s sporting events. According to an article posted on the AP Wednesday, April 7, more than 35 percent of adults worldwide have witnessed a parent become physically or verbally abusive toward a coach or official at a children’s sporting event. In a survey of 22 countries, the United States ranked the highest (60%) for ill-behaved parents, with residents of India a close second (59%). Italy came third (55% — were the pollers at a soccer event?), Argentina fifth (54%) and Canada 6th (53%).
But people in Hungary, the Czech Republic, Mexico, Japan and France were the least likely to see parents behaving badly while their children played sports.
According to the survey, men (41 percent) were more likely than women (33 percent) to have witnessed abusive behavior.
People in a higher income bracket and those who were more educated were also more likely to have seen parents acting physically and verbally abusive. (so smart people aren’t nice?)
The old adage “actions speak louder than words” comes to mind after reading this article. Our children watch and absorb everything we do. They’re like little sponges. So the next time you’re tempted to “go off” on your child’s soccer coach because she didn’t put little Jimmy in the game, remember that someone just might be watching you.