Yesterday, we sat in the rain watching 7- and 8-year-olds play soccer. They were having fun, even if moms and dads were huddled under umbrellas dreaming of hot tubs.
But then there was the little girl on the opposing team who never smiled. She was good -- better than almost every other child out there. She ran like a gazelle and figured out the fancy footwork. It wasn't good enough, though. For some reason, Sunday wasn't her game day. It happens to everyone, and you have to shrug it off, right?
Not according to this child's dad. He was on the sidelines, shouting instructions, criticizing her technique, telling her how she needed to try harder and work harder to score those goals. All this for an 8-year-old. He must have given up, as he went to his car during the fourth quarter and waited while his daughter trudged off the field, getting out only to shout at the child some more.
What's going to happen to this sweet kid? Does the dad really think she'll put up with 10 more years of shouting so she can live her dad's dream? What ever happened to letting kids play?