Sports Day Tantrums

The Junior school only. In teams by country!

The Junior school only. In teams by country – Spain, Italy, Brazil and Germany!

Today we had my Girls’ sports day.

She has never liked sports day and this year was no exception. She had been telling me for days that she didn’t want to do it and could she have the day off instead!!

She’s not sporty at all, the complete opposite of Teen who excelled on sports day, so this required a totally different approach from me in terms of how I deal with it. My usual tactic is to not mention it really, or try to reassure her that it’s supposed to be fun so it doesn’t matter if she wins/loses or whatever!

My Girl doesn’t like running, or RUSHING in any way, shape or form. She’s so laid back she’s almost horizontal and if I’m not behind her constantly, telling her to hurry up I don’t think we’d ever get out of the house of a morning! Drives me nuts!

But she is a very talented little gymnast which she trains for four times a week, and she enjoys swimming and climbing so she’s not lazy, but she just doesn’t have a competitive bone in her body and sports day just doesn’t float her boat at all.

And that’s fine by me. In fact I think it’s cute, I love her quirky little ways and her very rigid likes and dislikes!

The morning started off well, it was sunny at least which was a bonus. It meant I actually didn’t mind being there instead of wishing the whole thing would hurry up and finish because I was freezing my t**s off! When the children came out onto the field my girl looked unusually happy, all smiling and jolly, so I was confident she was going to be OK.

The children were divided into groups and each group travelled around the apparatus or events in sequence! First up for her group were the hurdles, if you can call them that, they’re just very low little fences to jump over! My girl WON her heat which was fantastic, I couldn’t believe it! She got a ‘1st’ sticker and things were looking good.

Next up was the ‘dribbling’ event where each child had to dribble a football around some ‘cones’.

It all went downhill from here!

sport day

She was doing fine at the dribbling I thought, but because she kicked the ball slightly wide she was devastated! This second pic shows her coming towards me…. I knew she wasn’t hpapy, she was ready to burst into tears!

To be honest this was unexpected because none of the kids did well at this at this game, some even kicked the ball miles away from the cones…. but for some reason my girl was completely devastated and refused to join in with anything else. She cried and cried.


I mean, talk about OTT!! I couldn’t actually believe she was this upset.

At first I tried to comfort her and say all the right things, telling her that she was great, she won the first race so she must be doing something right! She replied by saying that the other girls in that race were rubbish and one dropped out (true) so it didn’t mean anything. She was being very hard on herself, really putting herself down and feeling very sorry for herself bless her! It seemed that this one little thing had happened and the whole world was crumbling around her! Maybe it was just a ticking time bome waiting to off at the very first opportunity! It was horrible though and I felt useless for not being able to console her, even if it was utterly ridiculous!!

Of course, by doing this she created more of a stir and drew more attention to herself than she would have had she just got on with her sports. I tried everything to get her to join in again. The events continued, her teacher kept coming over trying to coax her back, but she was having none of it.

After while I started to lose patience. I feel a bit bad about this but it was going on far too long now and was beginning to grind on my nerves. My girl was taking things way too far. I started to use some gentle threats along the lines of, “if you don’t join in then you’re not doing X” –  It didn’t work.

I felt it was borderline naughty and spoilt. She was becoming angry and demanded I take her home which annoyed me and was actually out of character for her. She was pulling at me, almost causing a scene….. I told her I wasn’t allowed to just take her home and if she didn’t go and re-join her group (she didn’t have to join in the sports if she didn’t want to) I was going to leave.

What was the point in me being there if she wasn’t doing anything? I hadn’t wasted my morning to stand there and watch everyone else’s blummin kids!!

In the end I marched her up to the table where Head Mistress and other teachers were… (Head Teacher of the Juniors is very lovely and fun by the way), this was my ploy to kick start her to going back to her group. I knew Head Mistress would get what I was doing and go along with it.

I told her that my girl didn’t want to do sports day, I was leaving and could I leave her there. Of course she had a little word in my girls ear, I could see my girl was a bit embarrassed and Head Mistress encouraged her to continue.

Which she did.

The rest of the day went really well. She had lots of fun and even won a few events!

The rest of the day went really well. She had lots of fun and even won a few events!

My girl is nearly 9 now. Maybe she’s at that age where she’s becoming more self concious, I don’t know.  I’ve noticed she’s behaving like this occasionally now, for whatever reason, so I’m putting it down to her age…. I can’t work out what else it might be. Sometimes though, it doesn’t matter what you say or how you say it, kids just feel how they feel. You can’t rationalise their behaviour at times and that’s it. Sometimes it’s best just to leave well alone until they’re good and ready to be normal again lol.

At least she enjoyed her day in the end and so did I. I was able to socialise with the other Mums whilst watching my daughter doing her bit. I’m sure she forgot about her little outburst within minutes of rejoining her group, something that kids are very good at!

All’s well that end well!

sports day stickers

She had quite a nice collection of winners stickers too in the end!! 🙂


  1. Awww Im glad it turned our well in the end. Its so hard to solved such dilemma but you did! #PoCoLo

  2. I think you might be right about her age, I have 13 year old twin girls and an 11 year old girl. I’m sure all of them started getting ‘practice hormones’ around this point too.
    I’m glad you found a way to get her to snap out of it, sometimes we have to be tough! #pocolo

    • Mummy Endeavours says

      Ah thanks… that’s makes me feel better, although I’m not ready for hormones of any description yet!! God help me! x

  3. Your daughter did well to bounce back. Do you know anyone who looks back at their school sports days and says, “They were great!”?

    • Mummy Endeavours says

      I can barely remember mine… at primary anyway and high school sports day was just a laugh!!

  4. Oh gosh that sounds tough. I think you handled it in the best possible way and it paid off. Well done you you both xx

  5. Oh well handled you!! That is excellently played – I think I probably would have done the same! I think you are right about her age and feeling self-conscious at 9. I also have to say that your school has their sports day really early! Thank you for linking to PoCoLo 🙂 x

    • Mummy Endeavours says

      Yes it IS really early this year. Not normally so but I’m sure there is good reason 😉

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