Ugly parent syndrome gets ugly! reports that recent research shows parents aggressive behaviour on the sidelines at kids sport is embarrassing and making our children lose confidence and decide to quit sport.

The Flinders University research on the "ugly parent syndrome" could just help explain the latest figures that show fewer South Australian children aged four to 15 are involved in organised Australian football.

Australian Bureau of Statistics data reveals only 14.7 per cent of SA children participated in organised footy in 2012, down from 16.2 per cent at the previous count in 2009.

Flinders University researcher Sam Elliott said parents' behaviour had a profound impact on their child's participation in junior sport - good and bad.

"Parents' verbal behaviour towards children, umpires and coaches - yelling, bagging and disagreeing with positioning - can be problematic and there is a clear emphasis on performance, playing well and, for some parents, winning," he said.

"For some parents, it's much more serious than having fun or participating. They almost lose sight that it's 12 and 13-year-olds."

Gawd this scares me I have to admit! This year is our first season of junior footy with our son and it freaks me out to think parents can get so wound up at a kids match.

I won't be able to stand back and just watch if they are bagging my son that's for sure, but I also have no intention of jumping in and getting vocal to the other side. Kids should be allowed to be kids and learn their own way. 

Lead by example people!

Have you ever been a victim of "ugly parent syndrome"? What did you do?


Maxabella said…
Sadly there are ugly parents in any activity - they are so competitive, arrogant and self-centred that it is horrifying. Ugly people make ugly parents. I hope your boy loves football and the ugly parents don't bring him down!! x
Unknown said…
Mostly I've only experienced good things during the past three years of my son playing soccer. But recently we did have a man come and stand right in front of us so we couldn't see the game. Another parent asked if he could please move back so we could continue watching to which he retorted 'Stand up...I'm not moving'.
Worse still... we found out later he is the assistant coach...of MY sons team! Mind you, he hasn't turned up to a single training session or introduced himself to anyone on the team.
We just love watching our son play (non-competitive!!) soccer and seeing him enjoy himself with his team mates. We've made friends with most of the other parents although it might take a little longer to develop our friendship with the new assistant coach!