Author Topic: Kids sports....the incessantly complaining parent...new UPDATE post 39  (Read 15099 times)

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sweetonsno

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Re: Kids sports....the incessantly complaining parent
« Reply #15 on: September 22, 2013, 03:52:30 PM »
I think there are a lot of good ideas here. I'd use PeterM's suggestion first. Remind her that all of the kids are getting the same coaching during practice and ask her how much time Junior spends reinforcing his skills at home. Suggest that he spend a little bit more time on it and offer some ideas on how she can support her son in that way.

If that fails, try the "it sounds like this league may not be a good fit, fare thee well" idea.

If she's really that big of a problem and her son is breaking the rules, then the folks in charge might seriously consider asking him to leave.

bopper

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Re: Kids sports....the incessantly complaining parent
« Reply #16 on: September 22, 2013, 07:39:08 PM »
"Parent, this is an all volunteer organization.  If the level of coaching is not what you would like, I would suggest your son looking into a travel team.  There you may get the level of instruction you would like. Also, there are private lessons over at the "Sports Shack."  You may find that practicing with your son a bit everyday will help.  But unless the volunteer coaches are not having the minimum one practice per week and not playing your son a minimum of 5 innings, then our volunteer coaches are doing what we ask.  "

TootsNYC

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Re: Kids sports....the incessantly complaining parent
« Reply #17 on: September 22, 2013, 08:17:48 PM »
You could just stick with something simply.

"I'm sorry to hear you're so unhappy being involved with the team." Mildly sympathetic, not a lot of stress, no indication that you're truly apologizing--you're sorry to HEAR she's unhappy; you're not apologizing for whatever it is she's crabbing about. And absolutely NO sarcasm.

I think you can even walk over to whatever group she's currently regaling with her criticism, say this, and then walk away. That's why it's key that it be mildly sympathetic. It's not that you're wantint to listen, you're just saying, "Oh, sorry to hear that, my sympathies, gotta go."

It'll let her know that you're noticing. And the problem is that she's unhappy--not that something is wrong with the team, but that she's unhappy. It's her problem.

YummyMummy66

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Re: Kids sports....the incessantly complaining parent
« Reply #18 on: September 23, 2013, 08:13:46 AM »
Does this parent volunteer in any way on this league?

My husband used to coach.  There were so many parents who thought they should have a say, but when asked to volunteer and help, all of a sudden they were too busy.

Well, you know what, unless you are behind the scenes helping out, you have no clue. It got to be so much, that this is basically what I started saying.  And unless, you are willing to step up to the plate, then let those who do, do their job.

Not much was said after that because no one wanted to volunteer.

Seraphia

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Re: Kids sports....the incessantly complaining parent
« Reply #19 on: September 23, 2013, 09:26:55 AM »
I think there are a lot of good ideas here. I'd use PeterM's suggestion first. Remind her that all of the kids are getting the same coaching during practice and ask her how much time Junior spends reinforcing his skills at home. Suggest that he spend a little bit more time on it and offer some ideas on how she can support her son in that way.

I agree with this.

My DH has coached a couple different sports over a few different grade levels. There are *always* complainers.

One grandfather tried multiple times to get DH fired from a volunteer position. Why? Because when Grandfather had played -mumble- years ago, "we did X drill, and why don't you make these kids do X drill, it's the only way they'll learn, they need discipline, these kids." Never mind that they ran Y drill every practice, which is X drill modified for 7th and 8th graders, that wasn't enough. Grandfather escalated to the principal, and was finally laughed out because....he doesn't actually have a child on the squad. He just wants the sport run the way he remembers it from 19whatever.

Guy reappeared this year. He's now demanding that the head coach at the HS be fired. Take a guess as to why....
Ancora Imparo - I am still learning

GrammarNerd

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Re: Kids sports....the incessantly complaining parent
« Reply #20 on: September 23, 2013, 09:33:36 AM »
OP here....in answer to a few questions:

No, she doesn't volunteer.  We have a minimum volunteer requirement, but she gets her older daughter to do it so she won't have to.  In fact, we had a minimum age or if you were under the age, we had a working-with-a-parent-for-several-hours-before-you-can-work-alone requirement.  She was informed of it (by DH) and kind of blew him off.  Then she tried to have her kid work anyway, and got all irate with DH when he called her on it.  (They'd also 'volunteered' the daughter to work for other people if they paid her, so I also think they were upset that the daughter wouldn't be able to make some money.  ::) )

She's divorced from the kids' dad and lets everyone know how awful he is.

All of the coaches are volunteers, but we still do charge fees to play.  We have a facility to maintain (with taxes!), officials to pay, equipment to buy, etc.  When she complains, that is one thing that we hear a lot of....how much she pays, yadda yadda yadda.  I think the next time I personally hear this, I'm going to tell her that with all of the hours that we put in volunteering, WE still pay full price too!

One of her big things is that if her kid is sitting too much or isn't playing key positions frequently, she'll fire off a scathing letter to the coach.  She did this with the current coach.  I'd talked to a previous coach, and she did the same thing with him (he actually volunteered this info to me when we weren't even talking about her at all, so I know she made the same impression on him.) Luckily, this current coach had very good records of when/where he played each kid and how often each kid sat out.  He was able to confront most of her 'assumptions' with hard facts to refute that what she was saying was simply not true.  One of her beefs was that the kid never got a chance to play a certain position (actually, two positions, and they're the most difficult positions and most highly skilled positions to play).  The fact was that the entire team was asked at the beginning of the season who wanted to do that, and he never expressed an interest.  So they worked with those kids that DID express an interest.  Then 3 weeks into the season, the kid said something *before a match* and expected to be able to play that position.  With no practice.  The coach shut down that complaint pretty quickly and effectively.  (Yeah, she called him 'rude' b/c he wouldn't discuss with the kid's older sister before the match about playing the brother at a certain position.  Like she thinks that he should stop getting ready for a match to listen to a 12 year old girl about where her brother is playing, when he's trying to get 12 kids ready to play?  Seriously?)  He also said that if the kids want to play those positions, they need to practice at home.  He went on to say that the practice extends to basic fundamentals of the sport, and how he still needed practice with those.  He also brought up the swearing aspect and told her that he told all of the kids that they would be benched for an entire game if he hears any more of that.  Frankly, I wanted to give the coach a pat on the back for the response that he gave her.  And this is a brand new coach who stepped into the role at the last minute b/c they didn't have anyone else to do it!  (I think someone needs to remind her that her kid wouldn't even have a team to play on if it wasn't for this coach.)

I really would love for my husband to just kick her out of the league, but I know it's not my call.  I mean, I hear negativity (but thankfully way more positive things overall.)  But with her, it's just constant.  It has spanned years.  It's the least little thing, the least little perceived injustice to her pweshus.  (She's good friends with another mom who's son IS a star player....he's truly probably the best player in his age bracket.  That kid is just naturally talented, but he's well-mannered, is focused, and practices as much as he can.  I've wondered if complainer mom somehow mentally puts her own son in the same class as TalentedKid just b/c they're friends, and expects the same opportunities from the coaches.) She must really have blinders on if she thinks that her kid has anywhere near the skill level of some of these other kids.  If she kept it to herself, fine, but she makes all of these accusations and mean comments and scathing letters to coaches who are just trying to do the best they can, and doesn't do ANYTHING to make the situation better, like actually get off her butt and WORK with her kid, or help out our league in a different way.  I mean, this is how it is.  Your kid is NOT a star player, and you're not even doing anything yourself to help him improve.  If you don't like it, then by all means, go somewhere else. 

Coralreef

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Re: Kids sports....the incessantly complaining parent
« Reply #21 on: September 23, 2013, 12:01:58 PM »
I would offer to refund part of the fee is she is so unhappy.  If volunteering some hours is mandatory for the adult (I may have misunderstood, if so disregard the comment) and complainer does not do her part, just drop the kid from the team.  He doesn't seem to be so set on improving anyway.

Does her complaining disrupt official games?  Umpires / referees can bench or ban a player or parent from a game if they are disruptive. 

When DD was still playing ringette, there was a team that had horrendous parents that would simply NOT STOP COMPLAINING about everything, from the colour of the shirts to the slant of the sun through the windows.  At one memorable game, they complained so much that the referee warned them to shut up.  They didn't, so the referee stopped the game and gave the victory to our team.  It didn't shut them up right away but they were quieter at the next meeting.   

[/right

BeagleMommy

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Re: Kids sports....the incessantly complaining parent
« Reply #22 on: September 23, 2013, 12:18:58 PM »
A friend of mine coaches his son's basketball team.  This team is about 12 7 year old boys.  No scores are kept, it's strictly to learn the fundamentals and have fun.  He's compared it to herding cats.  The boys have fun but their attention spans are not good.  They break into hysterics at body noises.

One family is convinced that their son is the next incarnation of Michael Jordan.  They are mightily offended that no scores are kept and everyone plays equally.  He said this family does nothing but sports and doesn't even care if the child does well in school.  Their child WILL get a basketball scholarship to a major college followed by a stellar career in the NBA.

He told them bluntly "This is not a competitive league.  If that's what you want, there are others around that are competitive.  These kids want to have fun."

They left.

OP, maybe your husband should lay out the facts for this woman.  Something like "I understand you're unhappy with our league.  If you cannot devote some time to volunteer and assist your son with practice it would be better to find a league that meets your needs."

TootsNYC

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Re: Kids sports....the incessantly complaining parent
« Reply #23 on: September 23, 2013, 12:36:34 PM »
I would offer to refund part of the fee is she is so unhappy.

I wouldn't! That just rewards her. And it's not what her fee is for--her fee is NOT for excellent coaching. Her fee pays for the facilities, the insurance, etc.

Of the things she complains about, not one of them is something she actually pays for.

PeterM

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Re: Kids sports....the incessantly complaining parent
« Reply #24 on: September 24, 2013, 01:18:46 AM »
They break into hysterics at body noises.

To be fair, so does my wife.

sammycat

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Re: Kids sports....the incessantly complaining parent
« Reply #25 on: September 24, 2013, 01:25:45 AM »
OP, maybe your husband should lay out the facts for this woman.  Something like "I understand you're unhappy with our league.  If you cannot devote some time to volunteer and assist your son with practice it would be better to find a league that meets your needs."

I like this wording.  Call her bluff.

o_gal

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Re: Kids sports....the incessantly complaining parent
« Reply #26 on: September 24, 2013, 08:42:37 AM »
She went to the neighboring league for an abbreviated season, and I was stunned to see that she was back with our league for the main season, and that her son was on my son's team.  I was able to witness his skills firsthand.  He had potential, yes, but he just didn't build on it, for whatever reason.

I don't know if anyone has commented on this, because I see a lot of responses of trying to get her to leave and go to another league.

She can't. Her son was kicked out. It was an "abbreviated" season. She's now back, because you are probably the only league that will put up with her at this time. His skills are not that great that the other league was willing to put up with her and his bad behavior. She is never going to leave your league.

You now have a choice - continue on and do nothing about her or tell her to please leave forever and refund her money. I can't see that there really is any other solution to this.

wyliefool

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Re: Kids sports....the incessantly complaining parent
« Reply #27 on: September 24, 2013, 09:13:40 AM »
"Oh, you're so right, it's terrible, but there's nothing we can do. I'm sorry to see you leave, and hope you have better luck elsewhere. Bye now!" And have the kid immediately removed from the next game's schedule, because obviously he won't be playing w/ the team anymore since it's so awful.

StoutGirl

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Re: Kids sports....the incessantly complaining parent
« Reply #28 on: September 24, 2013, 12:44:22 PM »
Ick, these types of parents ruin the experience for everyone else.

I remember when I was in 4-H, there was a family in our club that had left previously on bad terms, but came back years later with their second and third kids, who are just atroctious.  Like before, they were minimally involved in the club, did the EXACT same demonstration on the 4 stomachs of cows every single year, and never participated in club activities and fundraisers.  Then they would complain that our club didn't do anything, it wasn't fun because the club did not go on extravagant trips, and the kids weren't getting anything out of it.

Then the fair would come around and they would show cattle.  The parents hired someone to work with the animals for the kids.  Then the kids would always win grand and reserve champions, and would be snooty little gloats about it.  Ugh, maybe this is a sin, but every year, I would hope that they would not win because it was not fair.

Since then, they have left the club because the bylaws were FINALLY enforced and they did not meet the required amount of attended meetings or volunteered events.  They ended up joining FFA instead.  ::)

Anyway, OP, I am not sure how I would handle this.  I almost wonder if establishing a set of bylaws would help and get more parents to help out, along with consequences for behavioral problems from unruly kids.

dlws92

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Re: Kids sports....the incessantly complaining parent
« Reply #29 on: September 24, 2013, 08:45:59 PM »
Much sympathy to the OP.  Parents like that seem to be everywhere!  I was the office manager for a dance studio for 2 years ending recently.  There was one mom who complained about EVERYTHING!  She rarely complained to me at the desk...you know...the person who could actually DO something about it.  Instead she complained to other parents in the waiting room (the waiting room for the second studio was on another floor)....she would post on the business's Facebook page about how she didn't get what she wanted ...on and on.

Every year she would come back.  Boggled my mind!  The owner gave her the "you might be happier elsewhere" speech...I did...other parents did.  She is still there after 4 years of complaining.

Problem with parents like that is that their negativity can be catching.  Unfortunately ignoring it can come back in the form of other parents, especially those new to the organization, thinking this is acceptable/normal behavior.  Or, they find her being around so distasteful, they pull their kids.  I strongly suggest the "you might be happier elsewhere" or "why don't you volunteer?" speeches be given.