Child psychologist: Misbehaving parents can traumatize their kids

DENVER -- Many local youth sports leagues now address behavior up front during registration. Parents are asked to agree to a code of conduct. Some league rules list specific consequences for breaking the rules, like ejection from a game.

But following a brawl at a youth baseball game in Lakewood, the rules to not appear to be effective enough.

“I love that we have the code of conduct. I wish that there was a way that it was talked about more than just something we sign,” said Dr. Sheryl Ziegler, a child psychologist.

She wishes that parents who were reprimanded would be required to go through some sort of code of conduct class before they are allowed back to a team activity.

“We have a generation of parents who are raising kids that don’t know how to manage their own stress, that don't know how to deal with frustration with loss, with not being the best, and constructive criticism, all the things that happen in life, but they all manifest on a sports field,” Ziegler said.

And what about the kids who witnessed the fight caught on camera in Lakewood? Ziegler says that was a traumatic event for those kids.

“They saw them swinging at each other and yelling and acting in ways that are completely contrary to how they are taught, and so I think that’s really confusing,” she said.

Ziegler suggests talking to kids about the appropriate way to handle a difficult situation in sports and reassuring them about the ways parents will keep them safe.

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