A former Boston Bruin, Mike Milbury, landed up in our local jail, charged with assault and battery of a minor. At a youth hockey game that he sponsored and in which he served as one team’s assistant coach, he grabbed a twelve year old kid’s jersey and swore at him (A kid from the opposing team). The mother of the kid said Milbury went beyond that re. physical abuse. Milbury’s version–provided in today’s Boston Globe Sports section, maintains that the kid bullied Milbury’s son, steadily throughout the entire game. Milbury asked the opposing coach to police his players; no response, just one of those “everybody’s doing it.” Milbury insisted he just tried to separate the bully from his own kid when all else failed. Who knows what happened? Witnesses support Milbury’s story.
Assume his side for the moment. Where is the nitwit mother of the other kid? Are parents incapable of policing their own kids? Holding them accountable for their actions? Coaches too for that matter? In “Coach,” what I think is his best book, Michael Lewis recounts his high school baseball coach, who lamented that for many kids today “All this is about a false sense of self-esteem. It’s now bestowed on kids at birth. It’s not earned. If I were to jump all over you today, you would be highly insulted and deeply offended. You would not get that I cared about you.”
It’s about over-parenting and under-parenting. Don’t blame the school, the coaches, the teacher: blame your kid or at least try to ascertain their responsibility for their actions. And try to stay out of the damned way once in a while, letting professionals ply their trade. Lewis’ coach lamented that he no longer enjoyed meaningful relationships with his players. “I can’t get inside of them anymore. They don’t get it. But most kids don’t get it. The trouble is every time I try the parents get in the way.”
For this life task we require no license? Amazing: the most important job in life and the least regulated….