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A Lesson from the Football Coach

Son, do not talk to your Mama like that!”

As I was struggling to figure out my son’s shoulder pads, I heard a voice come up from beside us.

It was just my 8-year-old and I at the football stadium for his football photos, and as I was trying to get him fully “together,” he was losing his patience with me and said I had his shoulder pads backwards.

After attempting to lift his jersey BACK up over his pads, the coach approached us.

Son, do not talk to your Mama like that!”

He then, in a very soft voice, proceeded to tell me that I did, in fact, have Kaden’s shoulder pads on correctly.

I sighed, half in relief and half from being frustrated with my son’s attitude. And as he thought the coach had walked away, he started up with his disrespectful talk to me again.

The coach had barely taken a step away before coming right back to Kaden, giving me a quick respectful glance, almost as if to make sure he wasn’t over stepping his boundaries, and then went on to say firmly but once again in a calm tone,

Son, you can NOT talk to your Mama in that way. I am a coach here and although you are not on my team, I can’t walk by and let a young man treat his mother that way. The athletes on my team, I don’t just coach them in football, but they are expected to be respectful young men as well.”

As I just stared with grateful tears in my eyes, he went on to say,

You need your Mama. Now you apologize and treat her with respect, son. OK?”

Before he left, he wanted Kaden to see not only that he remained calm the entire time as he spoke to him, trying to get a very clear point across, but he also stuck out his hand for a high five before he walked away.

Parenting is hard.

I mean it’s just plain hard.

Trying to discipline and be consistent and raise respectful children is hard. Trying to avoid raising an entitled child at all costs … well, is hard, but for me, I truly try to go down in flames attempting this on a daily basis.

But this afternoon I needed help and sadly there are times I have become so accustomed to that talk, that I didn’t even realize I needed it.

I could not be more thankful for the kind coach who had no clue who we were, yet still stepped in to help redirect my son on how he should be treating me.

I was reminded once again that I’m not just raising a little boy, but I’m raising someone’s future husband and father.

It truly does take a village.

Regan Long

Regan Long is a mother of 5, author, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and paid family leave advocate. Regan founded The Real Deal of Parenting, an online platform that provides heartwarming and witty content to millions of readers worldwide, a large percentage of those being mothers.

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