New wrinkle to Parents and Playing Time

One of our most-read posts just garnered us question we haven’t heard before. For all the good of social media, there are downsides as well. Parents, don’t use Facebook to complain about your child’s coach. Send and email or pick up the phone. Would you want someone posting a complaint about you at work for all to see? Especially if you didn’t get paid to do your job?

The reader writes:

I just read your article about dealing with parents because one of the mothers of my kids I coach posted a lengthy message on Facebook about her boys playing time.  She was upset that her son had set out 2 innings during our practice game Saturday and that I told him to get his glove on during practice yesterday.  She mentioned on Facebook that he might have a jammed finger but I was unaware of this at practice and nothing was said to me or the other coaches about an injury. 
 
Do you suggest letting this go or should I contact the mother directly?  I had even thought about sharing your article on Facebook without pointing anyone out.  
 
I just want to do what’s best for my team.  I spend countless hours and money trying to make these kids better and have fun.  
Thanks,
Our response:

Thank you for your note. I appreciate you reaching out.

Usually when I receive these types of inquiries I always say that I am only hearing one side of the story and that I’d need to hear the other side to be able to make a fair assessment. So I don’t know enough about what type of league this is, whether two innings is standard, and don’t know what this mom’s issue is with you telling her son to put on his glove.  You say the post was lengthy buy only mention two complaints so since I haven’t seen her post I can only assume there is more.

With that said, however, I can answer your question: You absolutely should contact this mother directly and very firmly tell her that her posting a grievance on Facebook was completely inappropriate. Let her know that in the future, you’d appreciate it, if she has an issue, that she  communicate with you privately and that you’d be willing to speak with her about situations that way but that you are not going to address anything via social media. In a perfect world she understands that she shouldn’t have done that, apologizes, and then you can have a conversation from there. My concern is that she doesn’t feel she was wrong and defends her actions. My advice would be to not get into any back and forth on Facebook and if she persists using that as a forum, get the league involved.

Hope this helps and please don’t let one person ruin the experience for you or your team.