Family Law

Baseball and Parenting

I have been thinking about baseball lately.  I have loved the game since I was in grade school.  Although my baseball “career” ended in high school, I remember practices and games with great fondness.  They were joyful times.  I would like every child who plays sports to have similar positive experiences.  Unfortunately, we adults can sometimes unwittingly bring tension and stress to the little league park and our children sense and absorb that stress.

Many aspects of co-parenting can be challenging.  Extra-curricular activities are no different.  Mom and Dad both want to see their child play ball.  There may be other family members or significant others in attendance.  If Mom and Dad are no longer together, those gatherings can be awkward.  If Mom and Dad are in the midst of a contentious custody case, those gatherings can become anxious and stress-filled.  The children simply want to play ball.

Baseball has the concept of “the sacrifice.”  A player sacrifices himself to be Out so that his teammate can move one base closer to home. The sacrifice bunt or sacrifice fly has at its core a long-game view of what is best for the team.  That is the view I would like to see parents take to the ballpark.  The parents may be currently involved in a difficult legal dispute with each other.  However, a long-game view of that dispute reveals that the ultimate goal should be the best interest of the children on the diamond.  If the other parent does something that you perceive as petty or antagonistic, is it better to respond in kind or to let it pass on by in the best interest of the entire parenting team?  For the children out on the field or standing at the plate ready to bat, obvious conflict between their parents off the field is a troubling distraction.  Ask yourselves how you want your children to remember their baseball experience.

Even if your co-parenting experience is rife with disagreement, are you able to take a long-game view of what is important?  Are you willing and able to sacrifice so that your child gets safely home?  Irvine Law Firm offers legal services in the areas of Parenting Coordination, Mediation and Collaborative Divorce.  Contact us if you want more information about any of these topics.