Positive parenting in organized youth sport is demonstrated via parental involvement that supports children’s opportunities to achieve their potential as athletes and human beings by engaging in healthy psychosocial interactions that lead to a range of positive developmental outcomes.

Research indicates that six skills are vital for parents to enhance interactions with their children in organized youth sport.

  1. Help your children select appropriate sporting opportunities
    • Share and communicate your child’s goals for sport
    • Provide the necessary types of support for that level of participation
    • Place an appropriate value on enjoyment and performance, given the sport context
  2. Understand and apply appropriate parenting styles
    • Create a healthy emotional climate for your child to participate in
    • Allow your children an appropriate level of autonomy in decision-making
    • Provide a united front across both parents’ parenting styles, and in the ways you parent at home and in sport
  3. Manage the emotional demands of sport
    • Accept that sport can be an emotional context
    • Do not make your love contingent upon your child’s outcomes
    • Foster and demonstrate values such as composure, sportsmanship, and teamwork
  4. Foster healthy relationships with significant others
    • Seek to build strong relationships with parents peers, coaches, and athletes
    • Appreciate the demands associated with being a parent, coach, and athlete in organized youth sport
    • Trust your child’s coach and be willing to help when called upon
  5. Manage the demands associated with youth sport
    • Sport will impact how you behave and how others view you
    • Do not overextend yourself, your child, or your family emotionally, financially, or physically
    • Develop personal and family strategies to manage the demands of sport
  6. Adapt your child’s environment across the stages of sport participation
    • Sport is marked by numerous transitions that must be navigated by parents, children, and families
    • Be cognizant of your child’s changing needs across the stages of her/his sport career