Swing the Bat, Not Your Fist

“Little League baseball is a very good thing because it keeps the parents off the streets.”    Yogi Berra

Two JV high school baseball teams meet up in Yuba City, California for a tournament. It’s the sixth inning, the game is tied 3-all and suddenly the dugouts empty and players, coaches and umpires tumble on the infield in a fist flinging brawl that lasts several minutes.

KCRA’s headline, “Was JV Baseball Brawl preventable” made my jaw drop. Tsunamis, tornadoes, and earthquakes aren’t preventable. All human behavior, at some level, is. The problem is, it takes effort to teach kids to swing the bat, not their fists.

From the moment a child is born, they are looking to the adults around them to teach them how to navigate the world. When a baby cries, they look to an adult to feed them, change them, or pick them up. When a toddler throws a temper tantrum, they look to for their parent’s reaction. When a six -year-old pulls another child’s hair, they watch to see what will happen next. When a 12-year-old doesn’t do their homework, they expect a reaction from their teacher and parent. When a teenager lies about where they went, they hope they get away with it.

To read more about Basebrawl and poor parenting, head over to Yahoo! US Shine.


Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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  1. It’s really too bad that so many parents of the world bought into the psycho-babble of the 70s, 80s and 90s that caused so many to veer away from the way we were raised. Right used to be right and wrong was punished well enough to keep us on the straight and narrow. Incidents like this are shameful.

  2. —Yes. There is something quite wrong w/ the mentality of the media…especially when it has to do w/ sports.

    & I must say, I’ve observed several parents who are craaazy, horrible roll models, as well.

    Great post. ( as always. ) Xx

    1. Thanks, Kim. I will never understand why professional athletes make SO much money, are so honored, and still do some despicable things. Not the role models I want for my children, for sure.

  3. It’s always interesting to me to see how seriously parents take sports but not sportsmanship. As I am a musician and have little experience by way of athletics, I find it so hard to relate to. I agree–parents should take the opportunity to teach their children good behavior while modeling it themselves in this amazing team scenario…..without relying on others to do their job.

    1. Alison, you speak the truth. I feel that we all have a responsibility to teach sportsmanship-whether it is with our children, our colleagues, or our families. People just need to be nicer to each other!

  4. Great post! I met with my high school son’s teachers once last year. They came armed to the gills planning to defend their grading system. It breaks my heart that when I said, “I know you’re teaching him. I know he can do better. I just don’t know how to help you get through. What do we need to do at home?” One teacher, with more than ten years experience, said I was the first parent EVER to ask him what we needed to change at home. That is pathetic! We need to teach our kids character, responsibility and self-control. It’s no one else’s job!

    1. Karen, your comment really gave me something to think about. If more parents looked at education-on and off the field-with a team approach, kids would be so much better off.

  5. Great post!! I could not agree with you more. “Tsunamis, tornadoes, and earthquakes aren’t preventable. All human behavior, at some level, is.” Now, if we could get most of the population to see this we would be on the right track. Blessings.

  6. This is what ALWAYS makes me think twice about competitive sports for my kids. I’m the furthest thing from a “sports” parent, and I simply don’t understand them. My daughter will be playing t-ball this summer…without any pressure to win from mom and dad. Great post.

    1. Thanks, Kenny. I have two athletic children who like to compete, and I feel it is my duty to teach them how to be good sports and understand what competition is really all about.

  7. Hallelujah! Thank you for posting this, and for pointing out what the media doesn’t seem to get at all. They see the world like everything is relative. But there IS right and wrong, and it is our privilege and honor and JOB as parents to pass that along to our kids because we are their last best hope… and they are ours.

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