As the mother of a boy who played organized sports every chance he had from third grade through to senior year of high school, I watched many, many games during his youth. My son was always a thoughtful, gentle person, not as aggressive as his coaches would have preferred. One coach actually told me that considering my son’s size and skill, he wished he could “give [my son] a mean pill” implying my son would be more valuable to the team if he were less nice. Ironically that same coach awarded my son the Heart” award, for the member with team spirit who was helpful and maintained a good attitude.
Incidentally, my son—now a grown man and father of three—is still nice, not mean.
My son’s lack of mean aggression in school sports meant he didn’t play as often as he would have liked. That upset me for his sake. What upset me more was that I had no idea how to console him when his team lost. I was never a jock and had a terribly difficult time coming up with words to ease his suffering of the loss. Instead, I’d offer him water and have food ready for him as soon after the game as possible.
I came across this video in my news feed on Facebook the day after I read Mark Greene’s article Why are We Blocking Our Children’s Emotional Literacy? and our related Twitter Chat, which we compiled for you, here.
I see this video as directly related to what we are working to do here at The Good Men Project. In the weekly Premium Member calls with our Publisher, Lisa Hickey, we have discussed time and time again how we must teach our boys compassion, kindness, nurture, and that men in particular must demonstrate to boys that it’s normal and healthy to show the softer, more vulnerable emotions.
CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS
Fathers: How do you let your son know it’s OK to express emotions including sadness, fear, or sorrow? How do you console your son when his team loses? How do you encourage compassion and sportsmanship when his team wins? Do you have a story to share about sportsmanship and emotions?
If those don’t inspire you, here are some of my other Calls for Submissions:
- Human Trafficking
- The Language of Fatherless Scenarios
- Plastic Bags
- How can Good Parents Effectively Reduce Fatherlessness?
- Coping with Chronic Pain
- Men Saying ‘No More’ to Societal Expectations
- What we did on our Summer Vacation
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Photo and video credit: FB/Now This