A few weeks back at my son’s basketball game, I saw another parent sitting on the sidelines reading a book. Honestly, my first reaction was: I wonder why? Then I realized I had that thought based on my own personal situation.
See, I personally love watching my kids play sports. Hockey, basketball, baseball, swimming – I love it all. I’m a sports fan. I always have been. I grew up watching and playing sports. We all watch sports together at home. It’s just what we do. Plus, our boys really love having us there. Whenever they skate down the ice on a breakaway, score a basket or make an amazing catch in the outfield, we’re the first people they look at. They love knowing their parents are cheering them on every step of the way.
But that’s us. That’s not everyone.
When I got home that night, I posed the question to others on social media. When you see a parent reading a book or working on their phone at their child’s sporting event, do you judge? I was genuinely curious what others thought about this. Turns out, it was a pretty popular topic of discussion! The answers I received were interesting, informative, hilarious and heartwarming, too!
One mom friend commented that it’s not our place to judge other parents. She suggested that maybe they’re not into sports and that’s okay. Maybe they’re reading for work, or maybe it’s the only time they have to read for pleasure. She went on to say that the main point is…they took their kid and they’re there.
Another mom friend said she often draws or reads during her son’s hockey games. She says she’s never felt guilty about it and her son doesn’t care. Actually, her son once apologized to her for having to come to his hockey games because his team was so bad. Hilarious!
Another mom said she’s brought a book to a sporting event before. She says her two kids are still quite young and sometimes she just needs a bit of peace. I think we can all relate to that!
Another said she is always fully involved in her kids sports & activities, but her husband isn’t. That just wasn’t his upbringing and they’re both okay with that and so are their kids.
Another said she always multitasks at events. She pays attention but she does other things, too. It’s important to her kids that she’s there, but they also know it’s okay if she’s not or if her full attention isn’t always on them.
So, how involved do parents need to be as spectators? Personally, I don’t think there’s a one size fits all answer. And I don’t think it’s our place to judge other parents. We don’t know their situation, just as they don’t know ours. Seeing a parent reading a book or working on a computer might seem strange to one person, but to another, it makes perfect sense!