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Talking to Kids After a Bad Game Can Be Tough for Parents: Here’s How to Handle It

By Gregory Mattura, North Jersey Record, 05/31/19, 12:00PM CDT

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“It’s a chance for them to feel that it was a tough game, that they felt like they did things wrong, and to talk about things that they felt they could have done better.”

When Jack Gillies has a bad game or suffers a tough loss, his mom and dad don’t talk about it on the drive home. “My parents know to just let me be, let me cool down,” said Gillies, a junior and three-sport athlete from River Dell High School. If senior teammate Jack Racine doesn’t want to discuss the game, he texts his parents, “Can’t talk.”

And Michael DeSantis, a senior and multi-sport standout at South River High School, will “ask my mom to take me home rather than my dad.” The ride home after a rotten game can be a potential minefield, a tension-filled trip that, if handled improperly, can explode into anger and resentment that lingers for days, years or a lifetime.