When Lebron James' mom jumps into the fray during heated game, the NBA star goes off.
If you have a kid in sports, you know the temptation to jump up and defend your child when another kid is playing rough or you don't agree with a ref's call. Lebron James' mom recently gave in to that temptation, rushing to her son's defense during a foul play. (Sure, he's 23, but he's still his mama's "baby boy.") Lebron wasn't too happy about mom's meddling. In fact, he used some choice words to coax her back into her seat: "Sit your ass down!" Wonder if she washed that mouth out with soap.
Read his lips here:
"I told her to sit down, in some language I shouldn't have used," James fessed up to USA Today. Ya think? "Thank God today wasn't Mother's Day. All I could think about is her. ... I know my mother. It's fine, we're good."
We spoke with Brooke de Lench, founder of MomsTeam and author of Home Team Advantage: The Critical Role of Mothers in Youth Sports, who says a recent survey found one in five children preferred that their parents stay at home rather than watch them compete. About one in seven parents also admitted to having yelled at a referee or sports official. Are you an out-of-control sports parent? We asked Brooke for her top tips on keeping your cool during your kid's game.
• Chill out.
"Parents cannot exhibit poor sportsmanship and then turn around and expect their children to be good sports, to lose our cool and expect them not to lose theirs, to harass refs and not expect them to do the same," Brooke says.
• Encourage your kids to chill, too.
Calmer kids = calmer parents. "Our proudest moments should come when our children handle tough calls with grace and dignity, not with cheap insults directed at volunteer referees or 'trash talk' aimed at opposing players," she continues. "When they do the right thing, we need to tell them how proud we are of the way they displayed grace under fire."
• Hand over the reins.
"Parents must give up control to the coach, to the other players, and to the officials," Brooke explains. "Sometimes, such a lack of control leads a parent to act inappropriately to try to get back the control they have lost." Accepting that you are not 100% in control will help you get less riled up during game time.
• Remember: Winning isn't everything.
Sure, it's fun to win...but it's not the end of the world if you don't. "It isn't easy being a parent of a child playing sports," she says. "The ups and downs of competition not only challenge a child's coping skills but a parent's as well. Some parents lack the skills to handle the emotional roller coaster and end up acting in inappropriate ways." She also says many moms and dads see parenting itself as competitive sport in which success depends on their child winning and the children of other parents losing. Repeat after us: It's only a game. It's only a game.
Still, even if Lebron's mom was out of control, we don't know if that's an excuse for her son's behavior. What do you think?