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Just Chill and Have Fun

By: PlayDate Kid

Edited By Mr. PlayDate

Are you one of those parents who sit in the stands and scream at the top of your lungs at your child playing on the little-league baseball team? Do you yell at the referee’s when your child gets called for a foul or strikes out at the plate? If so, you may have to chill out a little and remember and look at the big picture of the game, which should focus on camaraderie, team work, and social interactions. Often parents and children lose their perspective and focus on the win disregarding sportsmanship.

I know I’m just a kid but they pretty much missed the boat of why we came in the first place.

Take your average kid or adult, and sit them down in a somewhat sterile environment, and ask them “What’s the right thing to do in certain scenarios?” The majority of people could probably answer you correctly. As a matter of fact, they could probably lecture about it or even counsel others on the right thing to do in most quarrels. Yet in their own personal life they, including some therapists perhaps, may struggle. Now I’m not professing to have the answer to everyone’s problems. I just think sometimes it would be helpful for people to go back to the basics. They often know the right thing to do but for some reason in the heat of an argument, or as their adrenaline is pumping, they make poor choices.

This was demonstrated in a recent trip I took with my family to Dodger Stadium. It was a Sunday afternoon game and my eight year-old sister and I were pumped to go. We’d packed everything and prepared a special bag filled with goodies. Mom would only let us each buy one treat, either a drink or a snack, since we were on a tight budget. My dad was a little more lenient but had to buckle down a bit in front of mom. I had also packed our gloves just in case a ball came flying in our direction.

After circling the stadium, we parked in lot C and began to unload the car to start the long walk to the bleachers. The seat prices in those sections were cheaper and my sister and I didn’t mind since we were there to catch a home run ball. As we unloaded the baskets, my dad turned to my mom and asked, “Where did you put the seat cushions?” My mom said, “I thought you packed them.” From there all hell broke loose. They were soon going at each other in a heated debate, while my sister and I waited to the rear of the car. We kept focused on the stadium and watched other families walk past us, acting as if nothing was going on. We’ve tuned them out before and just hoped that this one would pass quickly. Unfortunately, it didn’t and from there it escalated to yelling, name-calling, and each of them taking turns walking off as to not leave us alone.

Dodger StadiumNeedless to say, after each of them took their turn walking away and then coming back, we didn’t get in to the game until the third inning. Were the seat cushions really that important? Even then they weren’t speaking to each other. They each sat on opposite sides of my sister and I, while we tried to watch the game. I don’t know about her but I kept wondering why we had to spend all that time in the parking lot. I know I’m just a kid but they pretty much missed the boat of why we came in the first place. If I were to behave like that with my sister, they would have been all over me. Yet here they were and they couldn’t see their own behavior. Even if they could see their mistake, they didn’t just stop and correct it.

To me the solution is pretty basic whether you’re a kid or an adult. Sometime we get caught up in the heat of things and keep going with our errors instead of stopping and correcting them. When I get angry and start feeling those physical symptoms of knots in my stomach, my heart pounding, and my body temperature goes up, I just picture a red flag and stop what I’m doing. I then ask myself is my reaction worth it or am I missing the boat. I know it’s hard to step back at this point. The more you catch yourself and remind yourself of the purpose of what you’re engaged in, the easier it becomes. Yelling and anger never leads to any solutions. It simply ruins your day and others’ around you. If you chill out and enjoy yourself, others around you will be more relaxed and probably perform better than if you’re all over them. Mistakes happen! It’s how we deal with them that counts.

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