If you want to make sure your child won't speak to you on the ride home after the game, do one or more of these things!
No More Tears (Please!) If your kid makes a game-winning play or a game-losing error, don't embarrass him or her by crying about it. Kids say that tears -- no matter how loving -- are not cool.
Let It Be Don't overreact to little hurts -- or big ones, for that matter. "When I busted my nose, my mom thought I was going to die," wrote one child. "She ran out to me when the coach was already there."
Keep Your Eyes on the Ball Kids want you to really watch their games. Complained one child, "My mother was putting her makeup on in the stands!"
Father (or Mother) Doesn't Always Know Best Kids like it when their parents know something about the sport they're playing, but parents who think they know it all can go too far. "Mom yelled at the ref when the ref was right," Said one kid.
No Bragging In addition to being totally embarrassing, bragging about your child to other parents puts unnecessary pressure on the kid.
Close Encounters Fixing your child's uniform, washing his face, or brushing her hair between innings is considered a personal foul by most kids. It's okay if your kid saunters over for a mid-game snack but don't go over to the bench to tie his shoes. And don't ever make the terrible mistake one dad made: He sat down on the bench and drank out of his kid's water bottle!
Curses! Kids don't want you to say anything you wouldn't want them to say. As one Little League coach told a mother who was yelling obscenities at the umpire, "Remember, our children are watching!"
Too Much of a Good Thing Your child may not mind if you come to his game with the dog, a cowbell and a video camera, but most kids do mind. Be cool.
Think Before You Speak Kids take exception to yells such as "Pull up your pants" and "Are you OK, honey?" Even cheering gets booed if it's for the wrong team, at the wrong time, or too loud.
Affection Rejection (Unless you're positive your kid is totally cool with this) keep the hugs, kisses, and love pats to the confines of your home -- preferably when none of your child's teammates is within a 10-mile radius.