‘On the couch’ with Jasminda

DEAR Jasminda,

I’ve started going to soccer matches with a good friend and our sons, who are both in the same class at school. We thought this was a great way to save fuel and catch up.

The problem is, I’ve now discovered my friend is highly competitive when it comes to sport.

She yells at the other team and the referee and she sulked last week when my son got player of the match.

It’s becoming unbearable.

Fiona S.

Dear Fiona,

There are many different parenting styles and the disparities between them come to full realisation during weekend sports matches.

There’s the working parent who spends the entire match on her phone extolling the virtues of a four-bedder reno dream and organising open house inspections while her kid is bending it like Beckham.

There’s the parent there purely for his social life who talks through the entire match so you miss the game.

There’s the organiser who always remembers the frozen oranges, brings extra jumpers and drink bottles, has up-to-date first aid training, and sorts out the end-of-season present for the coach.

Then there’s your friend who will make the soccer season a living hell for you, your son, and anyone within earshot.

You’ll be tarred with the same brush through association.

You can try a number of tactics – ignore the bad and praise the good; come up with feeble excuses not to travel together anymore, have a word in the coach’s ear and get them to address what’s expected of parents, or confront the issue like the goalie – head on.

Explain that you value the friendship and that you love the way your sons get on, but you see the game as a fun way for them to learn new skills and nothing more.

The way your friend reacts will sort the issue out, one way or another.


Leave a Reply