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Parenting Your School-Age Hockey Player

Parents of school-age hockey players and other child athletes must uphold a code of behavior, especially when they attend games and practices. The Canadian Hockey Association says that setting a good example for kids — being a role model — is important, and it sets forth a series of "do's" that parents and guardians of youth participants should follow:

  • Make sure that your child gets to all sports activities on time.
  • Provide and maintain required sports equipment.
  • Help your child get ready for practices and games.
  • Let coaches or other team leaders know if your child will be absent or you change your pickup arrangements.
  • Maintain a positive attitude toward the sport and every athlete's participation in it.
  • Make sure that the sports organization has effective harassment, sexual abuse, and screening policies for coaches and officials in place.
  • Let the leaders of your sports organization know of any concerns you may have.
  • Conduct yourself in a way that promotes fair play.

You're outta here! Undesirable behavior

Be prepared, the CHA says, for officials or organizers of your youth sports organization to ask you to leave a facility if you engage in any of the following inappropriate behavior:

  • Insulting athletes or officials (for example, name-calling and put-downs)
  • Arguing or yelling at officials
  • Suggesting or encouraging aggressive or "dirty" play
  • Criticizing an athlete too harshly, causing the athlete unnecessary or unhealthy stress
  • Using physical force or threatening force against another person
  • Engaging in any type of harassment

Kids just wanna have fun

Finally, how can parents make hockey fun for their children? The CHA suggests the following relatively simple but important guidelines:

  • Be positive and supportive.
  • Be available and show interest in what they are doing; remember, parents are the most important and influential people in kids' lives.
  • Play hockey with them — on the pond, in the driveway.
  • Have fun yourself.
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