Parents have “completely lost the plot” and have started swearing more at their children’s sports games, according to Columnist Jen Hogan.
While high passions and some foul language is a common feature at many high-stake matches, Irish Times Columnist Jen Hogan said parents are taking this passion too far at their children’s matches.
“Other parents have been in touch with me to say that parents appear on the sidelines to have completely lost the plot,” she told The Hard Shoulder.
“We're seeing so much more aggression, so much more completely unacceptable behaviour dressed up as passion.
She said it’s not as if children will never hear an adult swear, but the behaviour by some parents is at a whole new level.
“We're seeing parents shout abuse either at their own children or teammates of their own children or the opposing teams,” she said.
“A woman got in touch with me to say parent actually went for a coach because the child was substituted, and he didn't feel that child should be substituted.”
'It's about the aggression'
Newstalk Tech Correspondent Jess Kelly is a self-proclaimed ‘Sweary Mary’ - but she was shocked to hear some people’s language at a match in Old Trafford she attended with her nephew.
“Some of the words that they were coming out with throughout the match – they put them into songs,” she said.
“We were there in the fan section of Old Trafford, and as Man United continue to concede goals, the language got worse and worse.
“I understand passion, and I understand frustration... it’s not being opposed to the language, but it’s just the ferocity at which it’s said.
“People who can't go a full sentence or a full 15 minutes without dropping some form of expletive, I do worry about it.”
Ms Hogan said she would never let her children play in a match if neither herself nor her husband can attend the game.
“My own son was abused at a match,” she said. “I've been there when that's happened.
“If you have a parental cell, then if you happen to see those things happening, you're trying to keep your own child focused and make sure he’s okay.
She said children will only go on to replicate their parents’ behaviour if this aggression continues.
“You see it spill over to the actual pitch – they think ‘Our parents are behind us, now we can also treat teams like this’,” she said.
“It's just this awful, awful lesson that we're teaching our kids.”
Listen back here: