The Latest
April 12, 2024

Where Every Family Matters

“Sweet Sixteen” Ways Parenting is Like March Madness

Baby drool? Double dribble. Toddler tantrum? Technical foul. Parenting is like the NCAA Basketball tournament, except year round.

Raising kids and the annual NCAA Basketball Tournament have a lot in common. Parenting calls for the energy and stamina of an athlete, the discipline and vigilance of a referee, the devotion of a die-hard fan and the patience of a coach.

It’s essentially like competing in a daily, year-long, rest-of-your-life tournament in which your endurance and wits are constantly being tested — except with parenting it’s by someone much smaller whose butt you may or may not still wipe.

There’s many commonalities from the polished hardwood of college basketball courts to the stained-forever carpets of your cozy family room. Many parents of one child use the “zone defense”, where parents of two or more have to emply the exhausting “man-to-man full court press.” You may have even unknowingly done a “jump ball” if you ever had two or more kids fighting over the same thing.

So, in honor of the start of the NCAA college basketball tournament starting this week, please let us count…


1.  Sleep deprivation is normal.

2.  Someone is always getting upset.

3.  There is an astonishing amount of noise.

4.  Proper deployment of “time-outs” are critical.

5.   When emotions run high, things get messy.

6.   Someone is always trying to steal someone else’s ball.

7.   You’ll end up seeing a Cinderella story or two (or maybe a Toy Story).

8.   Grown men are often reduced to tears by the actions of children.

9.   Entire weekends are spent watching others play games.

10.  Much younger people run and jump around while adults scream at them.

11.  Sometimes taking a desperation shot is the only way to make it to the next day.

12.  You spend a bunch of money on something that immediately gets busted.

13.  You can sometimes underestimate/overestimate how great your team/kid is.

14.  There’s an entire industry of “experts” telling people what they’re doing wrong.

15.  Everything you think you know becomes meaningless almost instantly.

16.  When all is said and done, there’s a huge mess to clean up.



First Sports for Little Kids

Printable March Madness Brackets