'Sometimes it just happens' - Should I be screaming for my children during games?

I’ve spent a fair amount of time on the side of sports fields since becoming a mom nearly 11 years ago. The first five years, I just hung out at the fields mostly because when my kids screamed there, it seemed softer somehow.

The wind would simply carry their little voices away, and if I kept far enough away from them, I definitely couldn’t hear them as well. 

But I also took them to the field a lot because when you’ve got two little boys who are 17 months apart, to let them run around outside with a ball of sorts just seemed like the right thing to do to pass the time and get through the day. 

Little did I know that when they got older, they’d play every ball sport that there is and I’d spend the greater part of the rest of my life sitting on the sides of those same sports’ fields, waiting for the time to pass and get through the day. 

Must read 'The win-at-all-costs attitude... is disappointing and detrimental to a child’s development' - Gary Kirsten

'Good screamers, bad screamers, and screamers who just can’t help it'

And it wouldn’t be the kids who were screaming anymore - well not unless they tear a hamstring or something awesome like that. No. Instead of listening to my kids scream, I’d get to listen to parents scream.

Good screamers, bad screamers, and screamers who sometimes, just can’t help it. Because sometimes even the ones who I know don’t want to scream - myself included - actually can’t help their inner mama bear roar out loud with pride and joy. Sometimes it just happens. 

But back to the “bad screamers” ... I’ve never been tempted to be one of those and tell my kids where to stand or what to do because having never played a single sport’s game in my entire life I have no clue where they need to be or what they should be doing.

Insanely irritating

I have, however, considered yelling at them to tie their shoelaces, or concentrate, or stop chewing on their clothes, or take a sip of water.

But I keep quiet because I worry that I would ban the rest of us from attending games. So I shut my trap because I know how insanely irritating the coaches (who we are paid to do their jobs) must find us mothers at times.

And the poor kids. We must drive our poor kids demented.

I’ve thought a lot about whether or not I should be a “good screamer,” though. You know, when your child scores a goal or a try or a six or comes in at first, second or third place in a cross country race. 

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'Did you see that?'

Many times, I've been asked 'Did you see that?', and the truth is, while I miss a lot because I haven't had time to get my eyes tested since turning 40 in April, I'm also wary of becoming a "good screamer." 

Besides the fact that if you scream too loudly, you get branded as being “That Mom” (but if you don’t scream, you don’t care) and that I’d probably just land up screaming for the wrong kid anyway (they all look the same underneath those cricket helmets), I’m starting to wonder if we need to be cheerleaders for our children too? Surely ordering a cake for them on their birthdays is enough? 

Seriously though, what if our “good screaming” lands up putting more pressure on them to succeed? I know we do it so that they know we’re there for them and that we believe in them and we think they’re fantastic. Or maybe it’s just because we’re excited. 

But sadly, I’ve begun to notice that the lower the helicopter starts to hover, the more the child begins to quiver.

And I’m not sure I should be screaming for my children during their games when actually, I want them to know that my heart screams with pride and joy for them every time I look at them (school holidays excluded).

Chat back:

How about you? Are you a screamer? Share your story with us, and we could publish your mail. Anonymous contributions are welcome.

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