4th and Goal

The readers who have visited my blog know my passion is parenting.  I LOVE being a dad and I love to watch other parents work their magic.  Sometimes, I see things that make me cringe.  Today’s post though is going to relay a story that gives me yet another assurance that this parenting stuff really work.

Last weekend, my son and I worked together on catching passes before his flag football game.  A boy I’ll call Jack wanted to play with us.  I’ve known Jack several weeks.  He’s a nice child but is a little temperamental at times.

We played a game where my son played offense and Jack played defense on him at the two yard line and I gave each child 4 downs to score a touchdown.  My son was able to score on Jack so now it was Jack’s turn to play offense.  Jack did a great job of getting away from Cameron on 1st down but was unable to catch my pass so we moved to 2nd down.

2nd and 3rd down were a bit rougher for Jack because my child played better defense.  It didn’t help that on third down- a clown could have thrown the football better than me.  Therefore, we moved to 4th down.

On 4th down, both children worked hard.  I held the ball for a while because I really wanted Jack to score.  In the end though, my son’s defense was tough and my throw was a hair off.  The result was an incomplete pass.

Jack crumbled to the ground.  His reaction may have led the casual observer to believe he had lost the Super Bowl.  His dad came over and picked him up.  Both he and his wife had a talk with their son.

I really felt badly so I came over to his parents to apologize.  His dad looked at me like I was crazy though.  Basically, he and his wife assured me I hadn’t done anything wrong. I knew they were right but I wanted to be sensitive.  They went on to say they were working with him on how to handle things when situations didn’t go his way.

For the record, Jack (with the help of his parents) got over things and went on to have a great football game.  Both children scored a touchdown and the Titans won 35-21.  His parents were so proud.

There were plenty of mistakes I’ve seen parents make in these types of situations but Jack’s parents avoided them all.  Some of the mistakes include….

1.  Coddling Jack without teaching him things don’t always go his way.

2.  Blaming me for their son’s behavior.

3.  Let Jack lay on the field indefinitely until he got over it on his own.

Jack shares the “handling disappointment” problem with many other children.  The way Jack’s parents handled that (and I’ll bet may other) situation leads me to believe Jack will be just fine in the long term.  In my eyes, Jack’s parents scored a touchdown before the game even began!

I will be back again on Tuesday with another post. Those who are interested can follow my Facebook fan page at claytonpaulthomas and on Twitter (@claylauren2001).  Have a terrific weekend!


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  1. Cookie's Mom says:

    I really enjoy reading stories like this. I hope this is the sort of parent I will be with my son.

    Congrats on being featured on VoiceBoks this week, Clayton!

  2. Kristen says:

    It's nice to hear things like this. I imagine that a lot of the way children react to disappointment is a mirror of the way their parents react, too.