Learn how to root for your kids without being annoying, making a scene, or otherwise undermining …Is there anything more embarrassing than a mom screaming on the sidelines of the soccer field? Not if you are a preteen or teen. How about the verbose parent at the spelling bee? Children love to have their parents' attention, but sometimes this attention makes them want to sink into the ground. Learn how to root for your kids without being annoying, making a scene, or otherwise undermining their sense of cool. Best of all, become confident in relating to your child as he grows older and leaves the apron strings behind; ten ways to cheer on your kids make it possible.
1. Cheer for the Entire Team
Screaming at the top of your lungs whenever your son gets the ball is annoying -- not only to your son, but also to the other players. Adopt the entire team and cheer on all the players. Know the kids' names. Your child will be cheered on by your presence and enthusiasm for the sport; the team is sure to appreciate your support.
2. Applaud but Keep Screams to a Minimum
Does your daughter enjoy hearing her name when it is her turn to do the floor routine? She might instead be in the majority of children who are mortified by hearing mom scream their names across the echoing gym hall. Applaud noisily where appropriate, but only yell if you have your child's okay.
3. Coordinate Liveliness with Your Child
Some adults are just naturally boisterous. Some sports lend themselves to loud cheers. Then again, some activities are quiet spectator sports. Golf and chess are two examples of activities that call for measured cheer. Ask your youngster about the noise level he feels comfortable with. If he feels supported just by seeing you in the stands paying attention to his plays, you might just have to muzzle your enthusiasm.
4. Cheer from a Distance
Hovering over your child is never a good idea, especially when she is with her peers. Do not bully your way to the front of the field, do not follow your child around the perimeter of the green, and do not climb the fence to get a closer look at the putt. If you are unsure of where the unofficial cheer line ends and the zone of obnoxiousness begins, take a cue from the other parents.
5. Rooting without Coaching
Depending on the sport or activity, your youngster has a coach or mentor. Do not usurp this role by calling plays from the sidelines, ostensibly while rooting for your child and his team. It is over-reaching, annoying and -- if you are wrong -- embarrassing to the child. If you think you can coach better, talk to the coach in private after the game.
6. Maintain Personal Space
In addition to mortifying your child, you can also annoy the parents of peers. You will get a reputation for being loud and pushy parents, which eventually trickles down to your child. Do not invade the personal space of others and modulate your shouts of encouragement to not offend those around you. If you are standing with a group of generally quiet parents, you might want to move to the more boisterous group, if needed.
7. Praise in Public, Correct in Private
Nothing is more uncomfortable for a person than to be chastised in public for a mistake. Even though you want to encourage your child by teaching her how to do a better job on a jump or turn, reserve these discussions for another time. Cheering on a child means little more than encouraging the youngster by your presence and support.
8. Specificity Shows You Paid Attention
Children get exasperated when mom and dad keep talking in superlative statements. Your son knows he was not the best player on the field. If you keep acting like his mistakes did not matter, you cheapen his successes. Instead, focus your cheer on the praiseworthy plays and moves. Be honest in your appraisal but find a few positive things to point out, even if your child played his worst game ever.
9. Make Eye Contact
If I had a dollar for every mom and dad I see texting, reading, checking email or playing games on their phones -- while the children are performing or playing sports -- I would be able to take my child's class to an amusement park, all expenses paid. Sure, it is boring to watch a bunch of little kids run around on a stage dancing ballet. Even so, if you are there to cheer on your child, be sure to make eye contact and keep your peepers glued to the performance. Do not pass the time with other pursuits. It annoys the kids who are clamoring for mom's attention.
10. Reward Sportsmanship over Wins
Does your child fear your scathing remarks when the team loses or he does not score a goal? Does your daughter already know the coaching you undertake after the chess club challenge is over? If so, you have become too result-oriented to effectively root for your child. Rather than turning your presence into a performance evaluation, make sure your child knows you are a supporter of the team in general, and her (or him) in particular.Content by Sylvia Cochran.