Does Your Child's Idol Throw Punches?

by Sandi Faist - Date: 2007-01-02 - Word Count: 454 Share This!

So what are we teaching our children when we see grown men throwing punches at each other in the middle of a game? You've probably heard about or seen the coverage of the NBA game the other night when both teams started slugging it out. If you or I were to go to the office and get in a physical fight with a co-worker, how long do you think we'd get to keep our jobs? Let alone, stay out of jail?

I know this topic has been discussed numerous times, but it's just atrocious to me that these less educated athletes make more money than the average, more educated, person will ever dream. I don't begrudge them this, but wouldn't it be nice if they could act like decent human beings who deserved what they are so fortunate to have, especially because the only reason they do, is because of their rare physical abilities? I so wish they only appreciated how lucky they are. One year of "work" and they could be set for life.

Unfortunately, there are some kids who look up to these athletes. I'm not sure why, but I do know it is a learned behavior. We have to look at what parents are teaching. The media can and does make idols of our athletes, but it is a parent's responsibility to teach their children the criterion for considering someone worthy of idolization.

When a parent places a high significance on athletics, and the athletes, is it much of a stretch to think it might relate to the intensity and behavior they demonstrate at their child's little league game (or any other youth sport)? The cycle continues as the child gets caught up in their parent's emotions, and they learn to place a higher significance on sports than there should be. I think it's reasonable to say we see this more in boys' athletics, but it's not absent in girls' sports.

Let's face it, very few people will ever get to play a professional sport. Maybe that's part of the mystique; we idolize our pro athletes because we know they are unique, or special, and have a certain talent the majority of the population will never experience. But it's the athlete who not only has superior athletic ability, but the one who is humble and appreciates what he has, and acts with decency on and off the field, ice, or court, who we should admire.

That's what we need to teach our children, and the only way to do that is by demonstrating that behavior. When you're watching your daughter play softball, keep this in mind. You will be teaching her that what's important is how she conducts herself, not how well she plays a game.

Related Tags: athletes, athletic ability, athlete behavior, idolizing athletes, sportsmanship, conduct in sports

The author was in the insurance and medical industries for 20 years, the last 16 with the same medical practice. Now she is working at home writing and building her business; and enjoying more time with her children. She is the Softball Editor for BellaOnline.

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