I already know this is going to be a controversial topic. There will be women commenting that it’s not them who gossip about other people’s kids, other parents on the team, or coaches, and I know it’s probably not most moms.
But there is a segment of the sports-mom population that causes drama. We know who they are. Have I ever caused drama? I can admit that, YES…I have.
Admitting it is the first step in curing yourself of the “gossip disease”. Just take a deep breath and say to yourself, “I have been a ‘Drama Mama’, but I will no more.” There…you see…it’s easier than you thought.
Why do you think women are more prone to gossiping than men? I really don’t think I’m being sexist by asking that, I just think it’s more of a thing with women. Most men tend to be more direct when talking about things, and dads have their own drama around sports that’s totally different, and will be for another blog post.
According to this article in Psychology Today, women DO gossip more and the reason seems to be that gossiping is a form of aggression that women just use more than men. The studies back this up.
Gossiping is a problem in many areas of life, but kids’ sports seems to bring out some nasty vitriol from moms AND dads. But some moms seem to take it to a new level with talking about the performance of other kids on the team and that’s when it becomes a problem.
We even had a mom once who was saying racist stuff about a couple of the families on our team, behind their backs, and she had to be stopped. Sometimes coaches get involved but other parents can do a lot to put an end to that kind of trash talking by calling out the bad behavior when it happens.
Who gossips to you, will gossip of you ~ Turkish Proverb
I’ve also heard moms whispering about how so-and-so doesn’t pay as much for their fees and this other person doesn’t volunteer to do anything. Things like this are best addressed by setting a good example in what you do as a parent and as a team member. Seeing other people who are acting appropriately might help them see the error of their ways. And if it doesn’t, well so be it. After all, you can only control what you do, right?
Having harmony on a team is a wonderful thing and the teams we have been a part of had that for long periods of time. Those were awesome experiences. We were like a family and many of us are still friends long after the team had its final games. We all respect each other and adore each other’s kids and frankly, anything I have to say about them I could say to their faces. The ones I don’t care for, I just don’t stay in touch with. It’s that simple.
Now that I have high-schoolers playing sports, things are different. We’re not on a travel team anymore so we’re spending a lot of time with the other parents. I still hear gossiping and it’s a private school, so mostly it’s about who gets playing time because of a belief that the athletic department is influenced by money. It’s still gossip though, and I am staying away from it.
I hate to sound all “preachy”, but I really want to help those new sports moms who are just starting out with a new team and new people, to be able to navigate it all with more knowledge and information than I had.
My resolution for 2019 is to relax and enjoy the ride of my last few years of sports with my boys and be the most positive influence I can be. It’s going to be so sad when it’s over and I don’t want to look back with any regrets that I was a Yapping Yenta.