Kids are kids, which means that, sometimes, they misbehave. And, sometimes that misbehavior happens at inappropriate times...like during a hockey practice, or even worse yet, a game.
When your child is acting up in one of these situations, it’s normal to feel embarrassed, to want to punish your child immediately, and to start planning punishments in your head. However, how you react to the bad behavior will play a large role in whether it continues or is a one-time occurrence.
Thus, follow these tips for dealing with bad behavior the next time your young athlete acts up, and it might just be the last time.
As a parent, you are undoubtedly used to being the one responsible for controlling your child. You’re used to doling out punishments and being the disciplinarian. However, when your child is under the care of his coach, it’s better for you to step back and let the coach handle your child and his misbehavior.
This will teach your child to respect his coach and to understand that there are consequences for his actions. Whatever you do, don’t jump in and defend your child or, even after the fact, talk poorly about the coach and his punishments.
Stand by the discipline your child’s coach dishes out and be grateful for it; after all, you have somebody else who is helping to educate and parent your child.
Talk About What Happened
After an incident of misbehavior, you may wish to talk to your child about what happened. Remember, though, he has already been punished, so there is no need to dole out more punishment or be too harsh. Simply acknowledge that your child made a mistake, that the coach corrected him, and that you stand behind what the coach did.
Your child may tell you a little more about why he acted the way he did. He may even open up to you about his feelings and the underlying issues that caused his misbehavior. If that happens, be supportive and understanding, but also stress that misbehavior is never acceptable, no matter what.
If you can follow this simple advice, then there’s a good chance your child will stop acting up on the ice. If the bad behavior doesn’t stop, then you may need to come up with some more serious consequences. Your child’s coach can help you with that if necessary. See, that’s one of the beautiful things about hockey; it puts other adults in your child’s life who are just as invested in him as you are. Be grateful for that and seek help when needed, and you and your child should be just fine!