Little eyes are always watching.

Sounds like the title to a horror movie. It would probably be a good one since kids in horror movies are terrifying. But, I digress …

The title is very appropriate for what I witnessed tonight. I am a baseball mom. My kids play baseball and have for years. They love the game. Baseball is in their blood, and is now in my blood.

My son calls me the “Loud Baseball Mom”. I am the mom that is at every game sitting in the stands yelling. No, I am not the one yelling at the umps. I have had some cross words to yell at umps, but it’s rude to yell at the blind. Just kidding. I make a point of learning the names of all of the kids on the team. Every time those kids are up to bat, I’m the loud mom shouting encouraging things. “You got this”, “You can do it”, “Bring our boys home”. If they fumble, make an error, or just has their head up their rear-ends, I yell “Shake it off”, “It’s alright”, “Focus on the next play”. I make it a point to never yell anything negative towards the other team or the umps. Why would you do that? They are kids. They need to have fun and learn the game.

I was watching my kiddo play tonight. He had a good game, a single and a double.  There was a game going on beside us. I’m standing at the bleachers and I hear yelling (not strange at the ball field), but then it was angry yelling. I quickly turn around and I see parents and coaches yelling in anger. I see the kids, start mimicking the anger that their parents are showing. Parents were yelling profanities in front of everyone. I saw little children become upset and sob because they were so frightened.  A fight ensued and law enforcement was called. Not a good night for baseball.

Parents need to remember, that we are always teaching our children. They are always learning. Even when we aren’t looking. We may sit with them for hours on end trying to teach them about cells, or World War II, or (God forbid) common core math. I had to Google that to be able to teach that to my kiddo. It was not fun. I think my kiddos were learning when I was teaching them. I also know that they are learning when I do or say EVERYTHING. Children soak up everything we do and say. If I can take a loss with grace and class, they see that and they (I hope) will do the same in life. When I act like I have no class, they will, down the road, do the same.

The next time you’re in traffic and someone cuts you off, you may have the inclination to give that driver the finger or yell something that rhymes Toe Tuck Yourself, look at who is watching and learning. When you’re at your kids ball game, and the ump makes a bad call, stop yourself. Are you teaching your Babe Ruth how to be a jackass, or you teaching them good sportsmanship.

Our kids are always learning from us. Make sure you’re leaving them with lessons that will serve them well in life.


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