How was your day?

Eric Wong

Field hockey’s “Parent Play Day” brings athletes and their parents closer together

 


Going to work with parents belongs with a collection of elementary school memories and having Mom or Dad act as chaperons for field trips is reminiscent of middle school days, but bringing parents to a sport practice and having them play never goes out of style.  For many of us high school students, we grow apart from our parents as we mature and search for our identities.  The presence of parents becomes intolerable, especially when we are going out with friends. 
   

 

“How was school today?”: the generic question that parents ask and we never respond to.  How are we supposed to explain the overwhelming amount of drama that occurs every day anyway? The fight with our best friend, the B on the physics test, and the five-page paper assigned by our English teachers, all part of a world that our parents are too detached from.  Out of respect we say “fine” and nothing else, but sometimes we wish that our parents would understand and not judge so we could tell them everything. 

The girls’ field hockey teams have continued a nine-year tradition of hosting Parent Play Day in which the parents put on cleats and step out onto the field with sticks in hand to participate in a field hockey scrimmage.  Watching them run around — clumsily hacking at the ball while out of breath and gasping for air — was hilarious.  Hearing parents yell across the field, cheering their daughters on, was touching. The players were glad for the opportunity to share a day with their parents. In fact, some of the players and parents who were put on separate teams even developed little rivalries as they tried to get past each other.

When I asked some of the parents how they felt after playing, the most common response was “exhausted.”  Many of the players remarked that after going to Parent Play Day, their parents have a better understanding of what they are doing in games and how difficult playing field hockey really is. 

That connection and understanding of what really goes on are key to building trust. If we take the time to share some details about our lives with our parents, we show that we want them as a part of our lives and that they matter to us.  

I’m certainly not suggesting that we have to tell our parents about the parties we are at or any aspects of our lives that we want to remain private.  That would be downright silly.  But if we encounter difficulties and need to talk to someone about it, having a parent that we can trust can be invaluable. 

Keep that channel of communication open between you and your parents.  The next time they ask you “How was school today?”, consider sharing something.  Even the smallest bit of insight into our lives can be a heartfelt sign of appreciation.

 

 

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