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Snack Parent

When my boys were young - back in pee wee football, biddy basketball, T-ball - parents took turns bringing snacks. Cut up oranges, granola bars, Gatorade. I get it.

This whole snack thing cracks me up.

When my boys were young -- back in pee wee football, biddy basketball, T-ball -- parents took turns bringing snacks. Cut up oranges, granola bars, Gatorade. I get it. The kids were young, we all enjoyed providing for them. But this continued right through little league and travel soccer and all rec sports. Now my boys are in high school. Ahh, I thought, I can finally relax. Be a spectator. But no. Not even close. At least not in this town. Not only are we the parents still signed up for snack duty, but lets add team dinners to the mix.

Last week, a parent got lambasted for not bringing the right bagels (something about too many "sesame" and not enough "everything") for a pre-tennis match snack. I'm scared that my kid will be abused if I don't get the team dinner right. Isn't this getting a little silly? Maybe we should consider catering our kids' team snacks??

I don't want to sound like one of those old-timers (when I was a kid....), but seriously, when I was a kid not only did my parents NEVER EVER bring us snacks, they barely ever came to any of our games. You might think badly of my folks (and well you should), but no one's parents attended the games. We played for ourselves, for the victory, for the inner sense of accomplishment. We did not play to please our folks. And if you thought you might get hungry, you packed a snack. Thirsty? You'd remember to take a drink. If you forgot, you damn well would remember next time. It's not complicated. Do we really need to treat our teenagers like a bunch of babies? I feel like we're disabling them. 

Do I really need to remind my 15-year-old when he has soccer practice? If he needs to wear blue or white for his away game? If he'd like the Special K bar or the Nature's Valley? Banana or orange? Come on, I say enough. Enough with the snacks and the team dinners and the coddling.

Here's a novel idea: If these kids really want these things, let them put it together. Let them plan ahead. Let them call up their buddies and meet up at the pizza place for a "team dinner."

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montclairdad May 11, 2012 at 08:55 PM
Oh a big "Amen!" from the choir for this. About three years ago we stopped signing up for any team "snack duties." It's ridiculous. Send your kid to the game with a bottle of water and the snack of his/her choice. Or don't, whatever. (Team dinners shouldn't be held until a season is finished and you have a big blowout. If you want.)
AbeS May 13, 2012 at 12:48 PM
Why would anyone want to eat a bagel before doing something athletic? Snacks have gotten out of hand and probably cause more harm than good. You cant be at peak performance level if your body is trying to digest what you just put into your stomach.
RIZZA May 14, 2012 at 03:13 PM
I find it's the parents who were not very athletic or didn't participate in sports as a kid who are the offenders. My son/daughter should not be eating chips on the sidelines at halftime! What ever happened to cut up oranges? Everyone loved them!!! My parents were also not at every game. My Parents were working hard to provide their family with opportunities they never had. I told them all about the game at dinner time. I have coached many seasons of my childrens sports and I always objected to provided snacks, quietly. I learned never to get between a non-athletic SH mother and snacks for the kids.
M OKeef May 15, 2012 at 11:31 AM
Thought team dinners were what keeps Charlie Brown's in business.
EquitiesResearch May 15, 2012 at 10:10 PM
so true

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