Posts from June 2012. Show all blog posts.
Every week I write about five things that surprise me enough to get my attention.
This week I’m focusing on just one thing that captured a great deal of my attention—an incident that I experienced at a sporting event my son was participating in.
We were at a weekend baseball tournament outside of the city—a beautiful suburban setting with all of the amenities a park provides—lots of well-groomed and manicured grounds, playgrounds and concessions stands. But the setting wasn’t enough to mask the dysfunction that was going on in the diamond where my son was playing.
Unfortunately there was a misunderstanding between a coach and a player on the opposing team which resulted in temper tantrums, arguments and violence. When I say violence, I mean a 15 year-old boy lost control of his emotions and started to break bats and throw heavy equipment. There was yelling—mostly between the coaches and the parents. Then one of the coaches lost control and began swinging bats and threw one out into the crowd. The player was in such a rage that he actually left the bench and approached a mother in the stands who was trying to put a stop to things. The mother was threatened by the player but (fortunately) was not hurt after his father removed him physically by tackling the player and pinning him down on the ground.
More violence, this time between a father and son.
Is this the picture you have in your head when you sign your young children up for little league baseball at age eight—or any sport for that matter? Do you imagine coaches losing control, parents yelling and children threatening parents in the stands?
I encourage and support my kids in all of their sporting endeavours because I want them to develop into good sports. I don’t care if they make the big leagues or not. I do care if they know how to win and lose graciously. I want them to learn that they won’t always play but they will stay and support their teammates. I care that they’ll learn about hard work. I want them to learn not to give up easily, and how to work with kids from all different kinds of backgrounds. I want them to learn about making sacrifices and choices—that they have a responsibility to their team so a dance doesn’t trump a game.
Being part of a team means something. They learn to be accountable for their actions—they know if their mistake or achievement contributed to the end result. If they get hurt, they are brave. They learn to respect others for their differences and abilities—coaches, teammates and families. But most importantly, they learn about what’s fair and what’s not. It’s not always fair in sports, but you learn to roll with it because everyone is being judged (either by an umpire, ref, judge or a clock) and mistakes can happen. They happen to everyone.
These are only some of the values and lessons that sports can and should instill in young men and women to help prepare them for life.
I don’t want my kids to think that violence, entitlement and disrespect are a regular part of sports. But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe they are a part of the experience and will help prepare them for what’s ahead.
But that doesn’t mean I will compromise on what I want them to learn.
Hot dogs, grilled cheese and Jamie Oliver…it’s all about food this week. But I also liked these tips on how to look good on a webcam and am excited to see the new Microsoft tablet. Whenever they launch it. Here are just a few things that caught my eye this week.
1. I know kids love hot dogs and there are a lot more options for us to choose from these days. Companies like Life Choices for example, offer an all-beef option with none of the scary additives that were in the type I fed my kids when they were little. But here’s the thing. I came across this new revolutionary tool that makes eating hotdogs so much safer for kids—The Dog Dicer. I have to ask: do moms really need a quick slicer for kids to eat their hot dogs faster? If they are that dangerous, should they be eating them in the first place at such a young age? Really, how hard is it to chop up a wiener?
2. Since we’re talking about kids’ food staples, here’s a tip that came across my desktop this week that actually made me look twice. Just by tipping a toaster on its side, this handy way of making grilled cheese sandwiches is brilliant. Kids can make them on their own without having to use the stove top, there is less mess and you can even add your own toppings to make the open face grilled cheese fancy (croque-monsieur, anyone). It did occur to me that there could be some crumb spillage from the toaster when it gets tipped on its side, but that’s OK. They needed to get out anyway.
3. And there’s more in the world of kids and food. One of my favourite global men—Jamie Oliver—swooped in to save the day for a nine year old foodie with a cause. A student in the UK who photographed and blogged about her school lunches being unhealthy was successful in implementing change in her school cafeteria. Unfortunately, when the story hit the national press, the school asked her to stop posting. That’s when the Jamie machine swooped in to defend her. This story is about so much more than school lunches, freedom of speech and Jamie Oliver (but he does make it so much more attractive). It’s about the power of one, social media and it’s ability to affect change.
4. If you have ever communicated over Skype or a webcam you know what I’m talking about. Who is that person on the screen that looks like you but worse? Whether it’s personal or professional, you want to look like yourself and you don’t want to be distracted during the call with how big your nose looks. This video I found on Daily Candy gives some pretty simple tricks on how to set up for a successful skype or webcam call.
5. For something that hasn’t hit the market yet, there is already a lot of hype about the new Microsoft Surface tablet. Good for them—I’m excited to learn more about it. There’s still no launch date (they are being rather cagey about that), but here is some information released by Microsoft listing five advantages it has over the iPad. It sounds like their point of difference is going to be that they have solved the keyboard issue so we’ll be able to get more work done on it. It’s a good idea if it works.