What to do when two of your children are playing at the same time

By Jon Buzby | Posted 1/19/2018

As schedules would have it in our household this winter, in most instances, both of our boys play at the same time, in different parts of the county. It’s going to be impossible for my wife and I to both be at every game.

One son really doesn’t care. The other does.

Here are three suggestions on how we are going to handle both children playing at the same time.

1. Explain the situation

Although we sometimes think the simple statement of “we can’t both be there” is good enough, sometimes it’s not.

For our son who cares about our attendance, we’ve already discussed that even though we both want to be there to see him play in every game, we just can’t because his brother is playing at the same time. We reminded him that if we had a “rule” that both of us had to be at every game, then “one of you wouldn’t be playing,” and every other season, “that would be you!”

It was then that it sank in.

2. Don’t play favorites

The son who doesn’t care if we are watching plays in the more competitive league and, frankly, the games are more fun to watch. But that’s not a reason for either one of us to always choose his games over the other son’s.

The same holds true no matter what the sport, son or daughter. I always say that every dad should be at just as many of his child’s cheerleading competitions as his son’s basketball games when possible. Same with mom going to the big game rather than a dance competition.

3. Don’t keep score

We intentionally don’t keep track of how many games we each see because the reality is that even when both boys don’t play at the same time, we each also miss games because of work or other commitments. We don’t like it, but that’s just life as the parents of two active boys.

Parents never want to miss the opportunity to see their children play sports, or participate in any activity, for that matter. But life sometimes gets in the way, and that’s OK.

The most important thing is getting to as many events as we can, and when we can’t, making sure our kids understand that it’s not because we don’t want to be there.

Jon Buzby has been involved in and writing about youth sports for the past 30 years, originally as a coach and board member with his now-adult son and most recently "just as a dad" with his 8- and 10-year-old sons. Jon is an award-winning writer and his latest book, “Coaching Kids Made Easier,” is available on Amazon. Send comments or future blog topics you'd like to see to JonBuzby@hotmail.com and follow him @YouthSportsBuzz on Twitter.