Q&A: How Do I Deal with a Coach Parent Who's Too Verbally Aggressive with His Kid?

Teen parenting expert Rosalind Wiseman offers advice on how to deal with a coach parent who aggressively yells at his kid.

Q. I was coaching my son's sixth-grade basketball game and the other parent coach was screaming at his son, a player on our team. At the time I thought I didn't have the right to speak up because it was his kid. Should I have said something?

A. If we want young people to speak out when they see bullying, the least we can do is demand the same of ourselves. As a coach you're in a position of authority, and one of your responsibilities is to uphold good sportsmanship. You need to confront the other coach before the next game. Ask to speak with him privately. Say something like, "At our last game you yelled at your child in a manner that crossed the line. I understand you want him—and all our players—to put forth his best effort. But that won't happen if we insult or humiliate our players. It's also against the code of conduct that we agreed to as parent coaches. I'm asking you to please keep this in mind for our next game."

Originally published in the May 2012 issue of Family Circle magazine.