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1. It is not about you, it is about them. Do not live your own sports dreams through your kids. It is their turn now. Let them make their own choices, both good and bad.

2. Never talk to a coach about your child’s playing time, tactics or other athletes. You never should. That said, if you just cannot help yourself, send an email the next day asking for some phone time to discuss how they can improve.

3. NEVER yell at referees. They are trying. How would you like it if someone came to your job and screamed at you? Not so much. If you have a real issue, file a grievance.

4. Do not coach your child from the sideline. Your job is to be a cheerleader, not a coach. If you want to coach, you should volunteer.

5. It is EXTREMELY UNLIKELY you are raising a professional athlete. Relax, let them have a good time and learn the lessons they are supposed to be learning in competitive sports.

6. Children should play the sport that is in season until they reach middle school. Then they can become more focused and decide on one or two sports to play. Cross training prevents injuries and burnout.

7. If you have nothing nice to say, sit down and be quiet. Do not be “that” parent.

8. If you are losing your mind on the sideline during games, it is time to look in the mirror. It is not normal to care that much about sports, even ones in which your child participates. Put that energy into something more productive.

9. Let your child fail. Forgotten equipment, not working out, not practicing at home? Let them suffer the consequences. It will make them better teammates and better individuals.

10. Your kids are watching you. Make them proud, not embarrassed.

Stefanie Mullen, sportskidsplay, January-February, 2014