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Last night, Thursday December 12th., my wife Ella and I went for our evening walk at the Dorchester Arena. Living on the farm it is not wise to walk in the dark and face the oncoming cars.

After our stroll we went to the Kuma Food Concession to change into our winter boots and buy a cup of hot tea before venturing out into the cold.

As fate would have it, there was a family sitting beside a young hockey player who had just finished playing. The Novice team from Dorchester had just played against the rival team from St Thomas resulting in a very close game with a score of five to four.

The mother of the eight year old called her son out for all to hear:"you suck, you are a disappointment, you are a much better hockey player then you showed this evening". Then she angrily departed the scene leaving the little boy sobbing and in tears after her rant. Granma tried to console her grandson but to no avail.

The father tried to smooth over the matter and coax the boy to drive home with him. The youngster stood outside the arena in the cold and rain and the last thing I heard him say was: " I won’t go home with you, I am waiting for Nana to drive me home."

I am a grandfather, father, teacher, counselor and coach and was very disappointed at the very poor lack of judgment of the mother. I trust that she doesn’t represent the majority of parents who deride their children in the hopes that it will make them better athletes?

Sports should be played for fun. It should suffice that the youngster had fun and can join with like minded children in a team effort.

I hope hockey team parents of young boys do not see the sport of hockey as a future career in the pros. I recently counseled a twenty year old six foot four, 240 pound Junior A hockey player whose hockey career ended this year. The stats show that less than 0.25% of Junior Hockey players will play one game in the NHL

Perhaps parents will read this blog post and keep their priorities in order? You do not build youngsters up by demeaning them. Praise and positive reinforcement works wonders to help our young people have positive self concepts.

Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com