One of the big topics of conversation in our house this weekend was about good sportsmanship. I never thought I would be discussing this with my kids about KINDERGARTEN soccer, but I guess I was sadly mistaken. Just when you think you really know your kids, they go and do a 180 on you….
Apparently, my daughter was smack talking on the field with some of her teammates at her soccer game on Saturday morning. They were giving their goalie a really hard time for not blocking a goal. Luckily, their coach overheard them and completely busted them. She gave a big talk at half-time about supporting each other and being a team player. I was listening on the sidelines, trying to figure out what mean little brats she was referring to. I asked my daughter if she was one of the smack talkers, and she looked me right in the eye and told me no. Of course, I believed her because I never could’ve dreamed that my sweet little baby girl would purposely hurt someone else’s feelings. I mean, we’ve talked many many times about how it doesn’t matter if they win or lose — I’ve got her trained like a seal to say that what matters most is having fun, or at least I thought I did.
When we got home from the game, I was telling her how proud I was of her for trying her best (she did actually score the WINNING goal!) and how disappointing it was for her teammates to be such bad sports to their goalie. For some reason, I started to have a weird suspicion that she was somehow involved in the trash talking. I asked her about her involvement again and instantly knew she had lied to me when her eyes became fixated on the ground. She finally admitted it — the little stinker was most certainly right there in the middle of the meanness. I could not believe it! All those times she’s robotically told me that it’s ok if her team didn’t win — but, apparently, it’s definitely not ok with her!
We had a long talk about how much it would hurt her feelings if her teammates were giving her a hard time about making an honest mistake, and that team work is about cheering each other on at all times. She seemed to be listening (although with six year olds, you never really know). I really hope she understands this very important lesson. I’m definitely not trying to raise some little punk. We shall see — their next game isn’t until next Saturday, and I pray that I don’t have a little Tonya Harding on my hands…..