It’s A Bad Look

It never looks good when it comes to us via an ESPN headline or a viral tweet. Ja Morant’s dad getting into a fight at one of his son’s games. OBJ’s dad causing drama for his son’s team via Twitter. LaVar Ball making ridiculous pronouncements about his sons’ promise as athletes…and as entrepreneurs.

The parents who behave badly on the sidelines of Little League games and high school sports don’t suddenly get it together when their kids turn pro. If anything, they’ve been validated, enabled, and now they’re worse. It’s not a good look, though, even if it paid off.

We’ve talked before about Rich Cohen’s book Pee Wees (a great book we carry at The Painted Porch) about being a (sane) hockey parent. But really the lesson that these sport parents teach us translates off the court. Because what we’re really talking about is healthy boundaries, healthy respect for your children’s ability to make their own decisions, fight their own battles, live their own lives.

You might scoff at the parents who pop into the news for pushing their kid into the transfer portal because Nick Saban isn’t giving them enough playing time…yet weren’t you just last week trying to tell your own kid what they should major in? Didn’t you call up their teacher to complain about a math grade? Didn’t you offer to pull some strings in your industry to get them an internship? Didn’t you opine at Thanksgivings about how they need to give up on music and pursue something that pays better? Back off!

A few seasons ago, Tom Brady’s trainer pushed back on some comments that Brady’s dad made about his son’s plans to keep playing or not. How many 40 years olds consult their parents on career decisions, he asked. And so it goes with us. We have to develop some boundaries. We have let them make their own decisions, fight their own battles, live their own lives.

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