Help me, parents. You’re my only hope. I’d ask Obi Wan, but I’m not sure he’d be of use here.

I like to keep it light here, but yesterday was a day of conflict avoidance that left my stomach churning and me wondering if kids’ sports are worth all the drama that comes with them. So, I thought I’d just spew it all out here and hope desperately that somebody could offer some tips for coping.

We all love our kids and want them to do well, so I know every one of us has the best intentions. But yesterday was a bit trying for me because I just want everyone to get along and act in everyone’s best interests. In one of JT’s matches the parents were tough to listen to as they made various comments during the match preceding and during JT’s match with their son. I was hopeful that our experience with that set of parents was our last bit of ugliness for the day. But later in the day a parent inserted herself into JT’s match at a critical juncture and dictated the outcome of the match. It was really disheartening.

I am just as guilty as the next parent of being competitive and wanting my child to succeed, but I don’t want to sacrifice the values I’m trying to instill in them. There’s got to be a way to navigate these situations in a much more effective way than I’m doing — which isn’t effective at all. I am wondering how I talk to my kids about this type of ugliness and try to take the focus off of it and try to control how it affects me. Do I need to meditate between matches? Take a lap? Do I actually have to get in there and confront other parents? It hasn’t come to that, right?

I think we’ve got the sportsmanship topic covered since we continually discuss this with the kids. Of course that is difficult for kids to navigate, but they need to learn how to do so. It’s really important to keep the parents out of the mix so that they can understand how to resolve any disputes.

Please chime in. I need help, and I know you guys are full of knowledge.

Possible judgement fail

I allowed my son to download this oldie but goodie because it’s funny but not appropriate for MY 8-YEAR OLD DAUGHTER WHO I JUST DISCOVERED IS A MAJOR FAN OF IT. Fortunately, she hasn’t seen the full video since the end really doesn’t work so well for the younger set.

In other news, my 8-year old daughter apparently has a wicked sense of humor.

Now this one is also funny and way more appropriate.

I’m not informed enough to be a parent.

Good grief! So, I have to talk to the kids about the dangers of spices now, too? I’m not up to this parenting task, and I’m trying not to panic here. The realization that this Cinnamon Challenge has been a thing for years and I’m just hearing about it now is just another thing to keep me awake at night. It’s like the tip of the iceberg. What am I not hearing about that my kids might be exposed to before I can prepare them to deal with it. Some days it’s really too much and the worry just paralyzes me. This is one of those days because now it’s a spice. A SPICE! It’s impossible to anticipate where the next danger lies.

That was probably the wrong video to include since it seems so tame and funny. The other videos I watched weren’t funny at all particularly when coupled with the reports linking this to pneumonia and lung damage.

Say this, not that.

I’m continually confused by the popular wisdom on what words are kid-friendly. I know the obvious words to avoid, but I was informed by a little fellow that jealous is a bad word. Come again? First, little man, I was speaking to my friend, not you. Second, I am jealous of the weather that they are having and wish we had warm weather, too. I can use a different word such as envious or covetous, but the meaning is the same. So, are we looking for a moratorium on the sentiment? If so, you want to convey that it’s not a nice way to feel instead of just eliminating the word jealous from my vocabulary without some further explanation. Because, dude, SYNONYMS!!!

My personal philosophy regarding words I do not use in front of my kids hinges quite simply on whether the word is likely to draw attention from the school principal. If a word doesn’t appear to automatically generate a phone call from the school, then that word is given full vocabulary privileges. The word stupid has been given vocabulary privileges in our household with no issues. My daughter was informed by one of her friends that she couldn’t use the word stupid in the following phrase: Mosquitoes are stupid. Since she didn’t call the kid stupid, I fail to see the problem. I’ve taught my kids how to use the word properly, and I think we can all agree that mosquitoes are stupid. What are they really accomplishing? All flying around biting people and sucking their blood. Have you ever seen a mosquito attempt to solve a complex word problem or be able to speak intelligently on the social issues of today. Exactly! You have not. Thus, mosquitoes are stupid. Now obviously, if you are using the word to denigrate another person, you should do it in a whisper making it much harder to hear. Then when you are asked what you said, you can come up with some clever cover. This helps builds your imagination and ability to think on your feet. “I called you cupid.”