Referee's Techniques Into Real Life.
Wouldn't it be great
if we could practice certain aspects of the sports world
in our day-to-day home life? Maybe things would operate in
a smoother manner. Maybe doing so would somehow give us
cause for joy. Perhaps our stress would cease.
By this, I don't mean a guy should
necessarily do a victory dance around the house after a
particularly splendid evening of romance with the missus
(although I'd like to think there are certain occasions
when such an action could be justified).
No, instead, what I think we need is
professional refereeing in the household. Not the actual
professionals themselves, understand. But we parents could
benefit from being trained in how to administer penalties
when our offspring misbehave or are blatantly bad little
For instance, let's say two sisters are
in the bathroom arguing about a curling iron. I'm not
saying it happens in our house. I'm just saying
hypothetically. I think the scene should be handled much
the same as it would be if it happened on a football
"I wanna wear it," the infraction
"It's not yours, I need to wear it
"You're so unfair. You never let me
borrow anything of yours."
"THAT'S BECAUSE YOU NEVER RETURN MY
THINGS WHEN YOU'RE FINISHED WITH THEM!!"
About that time, I would run down the
hall blowing a whistle and my hands would be flapping over
my head. When I reach the bathroom, I throw a little
yellow flag and penalize both of the girls for offsetting
unsportsmanlike conduct violations.
As I see it, the only problem in this
scenario is it would be difficult, and fruitless really,
to penalize the warring siblings 15 yards.
Or how about this ...
Let's say The Boy is particularly grumpy
one day because he runs out of snackies. He looks through
the pantry and can find nothing that contains dunes of
sugar or mountains of MSG. It is the end of the week, and
a trip to the grocery store is still a good 18 hours away.
Knowing this, The Boy's grumpiness
continues and he starts back talking. <continued below>
Wouldn't it be great if a parent could
get right in his child's face and converse with him the
same way an umpire does with a baseball player? (Most ball
players act like 5-year-olds who have run out of Ding
"Go to bed right now," I would insist.
"I don't wanna!" The Boy says back.
"That's too bad, you're gonna," I tell
"I don't wanna, and you can't make me,"
he says as he swings a foot out of anger in no general
"That's it, buddy, you crossed the line.
YOU'RE OUTTA HERE! HIT THE SHOWERS AND GO TO BED!"
(Turn that around for a minute: Maybe we
can solve baseball's attitude problems if all ball players
were sent to bed for arguing balls and
And what of teenagers and their
That's when you haul out the big hook:
basketball referee punishment.
Let's say your 14-year-old wants to go
to a party and you won't let her because she didn't get
her room cleaned and her homework done.
"Sorry," you tell your kid (though you
"But Dad! I never get to do anything!
You don't know how it feels to be 14! Life's not fair! I
wanna be with my friends! It's not fair! I always have to
stay home! It's just not fair!"
"WOULD YOU QUIT WITH THE EXCLAMATION
"Then would you please quit talking to
me in all caps!!"
About that moment, I'd love to be
wearing a black and white striped shirt, some spandex
black pants and have a whistle in my mouth. I'd leave the
room in the middle of the argument right as she utters the
phrase, "It's so unfair!" for something like the 300th
time. Then, suddenly, I would run back down the hall, back
into her bedroom and "T" her up. Errant teenage behavior
often warrants a technical.
I tell her if she gets a double
technical, we watch golf on TV.
"Dad, no, anything but that. It's
boring. I'd rather stand in a corner during lunchtime at
"Nope, golf it is," I say. "There are no
fouls in golf. There is no misbehavior in golf. Everyone
who plays golf is calm. Life is perfect and everyone
behaves with dignity and aplomb."
"THAT'S SO UNFAIR! YOU CAN'T DO THAT TO
ME!! YOU JUST CAN'T."
"Uh-oh, sweetie! You have just done the
teenage equivalent of hitting your tee-shot behind a tree.
Now, where's that remote?"
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