Do divorced couples sit together at kids’ games and other game questions?

My soon-to-be divorced friend is aggravated by her ex sitting next to her at the children’s spring ball games. She can’t stand him at this point. They are in the middle of a very contentious divorce, and he just blabs at her the whole game. She just wants to watch her children play in peace.

She noticed all the other divorced couples seemed to be sitting together too. She’s trying to figure out how to break that pattern.  Can you break that pattern? How can she get away from him without her kids really noticing? Should she tell him she doesn’t want to sit with him or at the very least that he needs to shut up during the game? Or is this an opportunity for them to improve their relationship for the sake of the kids?

In other ball games questions:

1. Are games running too late? Our friend’s game lasted until 10 p.m. last week and he’s in elementary school. What’ up with that? I think that is way too late for games.

2. Do you find the elementary-age baseball games to be boring? My friend was mocking her son’s team on Facebook as the game being a real “snoozer,” which made me snort water out of my nose. I love that she’s judging these poor little guys trying to hit the ball. She said they were sitting there forever without a single hit. Another friend said she should switch to lacrosse. (I think that was it.) She said it was action-packed. Was she kidding?

What do you love or hate about going to kids’ spring ball games? What’s your advice for my divorcing friend?

38 comments Add your comment

David Covington

March 23rd, 2014
10:43 pm

Since when are the kids her kids and not their kids ? One thing I have learned about my ex is, and this is along this same line, is, you can’t make a parent be a good parent. If you know you cannot get along, then you should not sit together, or either you suck it up for the sake of the kids. I think it’s sad some of the ways parents are, but it’s because we have allowed it to happen for so long, and people forget its about the kids and not themselves. You just have to learn to deal with it, and suck it up for the kids.


March 23rd, 2014
10:45 pm

I think it’s nice for the kids if divorced parents can get along and sit together, but if the relationship is currently contentious, there’s no reason this mom should just sit and endure it. Is he blabbing at her about their issues? If so, it’s a manipulative tactic — he’s betting she won’t move away or make a scene, effectively “trapping” her. She should tell him she does not to want to hear it and change seats. If she can sit between a couple of friends it might help.


March 23rd, 2014
11:13 pm

Ugh — baseball. Thank goodness my kids were never interested! Of course, neither I nor my husband really care for baseball, so maybe it was just lack of exposure. My son played soccer for many, many years, and I loved it. But if it had been baseball, I would have been completely bored out of my mind.

10 pm is too late for the under 10 crowd. JMHO.

As to the ex — that’s a tough one. It’s easy to say ’suck it up for the kids’, but sometimes, seeing the parents sitting together cheering for them gives kids a false sense of hope. Sit together with the crowd — but not next to each other. As long as you aren’t fighting in public and are still able to smile and cheer for your child, sometimes that’s the best you can do.

A reader

March 24th, 2014
12:09 am

Tell your friend to wait in the car, the bathroom, or talk to another parent until her ex has settled in on the bleachers and then go sit as far away from him as she can. If possible in a place where he cannot re locate and sit next to her because there is no room. There is truly an art to this.

10 PM is too late for a baseball game on a school night for elementary kids. It is also late for middle school kids, with the one exception being an end of season tournament.

Is baseball/softball boring? Sometimes. Is soccer boring? I think it is, other people love it. I have never watched lacross so I cannot say. But I do not think it is good form to mock your child’s or any child’s sport team, or any type of team, online. As a parent if you think what your child is doing is boring then you have 3 choices: 1) Don;t sign them up so you do not have to “suffer”; 2) be THAT parent who never ever comes to an event to support your child; 3) suck it up and cheer on you kid while they do something they love. But don’t mock them.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

March 24th, 2014
12:20 am

she is a super loving mom who is constantly at matches of some sort or another — she spends her life in ball fields, wrestling arenas, golf courses, basketball courts — super active kids. I think baseball is just not her favorite. She wasn’t trying to be mean to the kids. she just wanted some action.


March 24th, 2014
4:33 am

As a teacher, I KNOW 10 pm is too late. Unless you want you child sleeping through the first 2 hours of the school day or a cranky behavior problem because of lack of sleep. 10 PM game end time means bed by 11. Children under 10 need 9- 10 hours of sleep! With a 7:45 school start time and breakfast that means they are only getting maybe 71/2 hours of sleep. Look up the research and make smart choices for your child. Which is more important a ball game or education?


March 24th, 2014
5:37 am

I think your friend needs to get rid of all the negativity! Her kids are gonna leave her the minute they can! And commenting on FB about the child’s game? Terrible! She needs to be in therapy.

Yes, even nine is too late for the games to end.

Time for your friend to grow up and put her children’s needs first!


March 24th, 2014
6:31 am

That might be the key to your friend’s marriage problems. Lack of communication. If she doesn’t want the ex to sit next to her or blab during the entire game, then she should tell him before they get to the field.


March 24th, 2014
7:17 am

She needs to tell the father of her children that she doesn’t want to talk to him she wants to watch the game. Get a friend to go with her to the game so she has support if she can…or sit with the other parents. She can also get up and move.

Parents do need to find a way to talk to each other for the sake of the kids. It is not easy. However, she and have their personal stuff (feelings etc) to work through on their own before they can get there. That just takes time. Prayers to her.

Mom of 3

March 24th, 2014
7:31 am

So silly your friend even feels the need to discuss her son’s baseball game on Facebook. And your definition of “super loving” is allowing kids to be way over scheduled? Is your friend “super loving” in other ways? Maybe one of the reasons her marriage fell apart is because she pours everything she has into her kids. Or maybe a reason is because she is a Facebook junkie. Maybe Facebook is her life just like it is for so many others whose marriages have fallen apart because they no longer know how to communicate or because they are on Facebook talking about baseball instead of spending time with their significant other.


March 24th, 2014
8:54 am

Agree with @Mom of 3. Loving does not mean over scheduling your kids and spending your life at the ballpark or wherever. Loving is spending quality time with your kids, teaching them to be kind and compassionate human beings and preparing them for the wide world they’ll be going into. It’s not about posting your kids’ games on Facebook. I might find my son’s baseball games boring at times too, but I would never tell him that and certainly would never post that to social media. Again, one of hundreds of reasons I’ll never be on FB or any of those other time-wasting sites.

Sk8ing Momma

March 24th, 2014
9:56 am

My thoughts…

1. Life is far too short to sit next to someone your friend doesn’t want to, and adults should be more mature than to do otherwise. She should move or just tell her soon-to-be exactly how she feels. Personally, I’d vote for just telling him…I’m a firm believer of “making it plain”….It takes out all of the guess work!

2. Little league baseball can be painfully boring…It’s no different than MLB, IMO. :)

3. My kids have played sports for years and we’ve had divorced parents on their teams. Some exs get along beautifully, while others not so much. Those that don’t just have minimal contact with other, ex. they sit on opposite ends of the team’s spectator section.


March 24th, 2014
10:43 am

If the divorce is contentious, it is a bit interesting that he sits with her and talks like there is nothing going on. Like a previous commenter stated, I think he is doing it because he knows she will put up with it and that she won’t cause a scene because of the kids. I think she should just be honest and tell him she doesn’t want to sit with him at this time. She may feel differently about it later. Oh and don’t do it at the game…call him ahead of time. If he persists, then she should just say ‘excuse me I think for now I will sit somewhere else” and move without saying another word.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

March 24th, 2014
11:29 am

If I could go back and write again I wouldn’t say mock – she just commented that is was a snoozer — Her kids are not overscheduled — this is one of the nicest, best mothers I know. she is amazing. sorry i mislead but i think people want to judge — Sk8ing mom gets my point — I think a lot of those games are boring — but you do it because you love them.


March 24th, 2014
11:34 am

MAYBE his talking to her at the game is his way of being nice and trying to smooth things over between them even if just for a few hours at a time. Obviously I don’t know either of them or how they operate but some people just don’t know how to handle emotional situations so they make it up as they go along. They do what they THINK is the nice thing to do even when the other person thinks it’s a PITA. I could be wayyyyyyy off. Maybe she should ask him why he feels the need to talk to her when he knows she doesn’t like him right now.

But either way, if she doesn’t appreciate it, she should say so BEFORE the game and find somewhere else to sit. If he doesn’t take the hint, she should get up and move. Be slick about it so it’s not a “scene”; go to the bathroom and come back to a different spot. Sorry that SHE has to go thru all that but if he doesn’t she does for her own sanity and comfort.


March 24th, 2014
11:40 am

Seriously, people here are harsh. Heck, the kids might agree with her that the game was a dull one and could have been nodding off in the dugout or the outfield themselves. I know I’ve been bored to tears in a few softball games I played in. Not every game is a good one.


March 24th, 2014
11:41 am

My parents divorced when I was 14. It was a crappy time to not have a male in the house. Times were different back then (1976) but also my dad was not the warm fuzzy type. There was never an issue about custody as didn’t want 3 kids. That said, he lived a few miles away and came around every week or so. He never had us for the weekend. I’ll say one thing: my parents always had Christmas together, except maybe one or two times. Both remarried and then their spouses would also be there a Christmas. We were not big on other holidays so Christmas was the one that stood out.

Mom ended up really struggling financially while dad prospered (that is why I am very passionate about women not totally giving up their careers). Dad has tried in the last 10 years to be more connected (I’m 52 now) but it sort of bugs me. He did pay for the entire family (mom, dad’s wife, and kids) to take a 7-day carribean cruise a few years back. So short answer: suck it up and attend the events as parents, but I think it is ok for her to tell her husband to stop yakking. Did he always do this?


March 24th, 2014
11:56 am

Mom of 3 makes some great points -over scheduling, discussing everything on FB, and giving up your whole identity for the kids is just crazy.


March 24th, 2014
12:19 pm

You are a grown woman! Sit where you want to sit, do not send the kids the wrong message if you are not there yet. You are not doing them any favors if you are dreading going to their games. It is suppose to be a time of enjoyment. Having a sour look on your face is more painful for them than the fact that you are sitting in another seat without your ex.


Real Life

March 24th, 2014
12:34 pm

10 Pm is way to late for the games. You friend needs to show some maturity. She and her estranged husband are both parents of these children, and like it or not, they will have some type of contact the remainder of their lives because of it. My younger sister and her ex-husband would babysit for each other when one went to pick up their child. Both had children from second marriages and the ex picking up their child would babysit all the kids so that the ex-spouse and his or her current spouse could go out. And those two fought tooth and nail over the divorce. My best friend ended up with her ex-husband and his new wife over for Thanksgiving and Christmas while the children were young. Again their divorce was nasty but they recognized they had to have a decent relationship because of their children. If you don’t want to sit next to your ex at a game/event, then don’t do it, but you need to forge an amicable relationship for the sake of the children. Any “super-loving” parent knows this.

Mom of 3

March 24th, 2014
12:58 pm

TWG……..we do the best with the info as you present it. You say your friend spends her life at her kids’ events and that the kids are “super active”. Then you say the kids are not over scheduled. It can’t be both ways. If she “spends her life” at sporting events and then returns home to talk about it on Facebook she is way too into her children, even if she is one of the nicest mothers you know. Maybe she is too nice?
I did not speak to the question of how divorced parents should behave because I’m not in that world. But I do have three children who play sports and it sounds like your friend’s kids participate in too many activities.
Also, if more parents would stop wasting their time on Facebook and not allow their children to get caught up in that nonsense as well we would all see our face to face relationships improve.


March 24th, 2014
1:38 pm

soooo… this post is your way of helping her deal w/the situation w/o actually dealing w/it? (presumably he’s going to hear about it from some mutual friend/acquaintance)

well played!


March 24th, 2014
2:01 pm

Was this your same friend that was contemplating going Brazilian to appease single men in the bedroom?

If so, she sounds very ready to move on from the soon-to-be ex. She needs to just subtly move.


March 24th, 2014
2:03 pm

My first grader plays baseball games that start at 7:30. His bed time is usually 8.

Too many teams at his park for it to work any other way. Some one has to have the late game. We just deal with it.


March 24th, 2014
2:59 pm

Your friend needs to suck it up for the sake of the kids…

Good Grief

March 24th, 2014
3:12 pm

First of all, STOP complaining! Most youth sports organizations are made up entirely of VOLUNTEERS. If you dont like what is going on, VOLUNTEER as see how hard it is to get the job done in addition to your REAL JOB!

Most, if not all, recreational league sports make every attempt to get the elementary aged kids scheduled as early as possible and let the older kids play later. Several fields are usually dedicated to different age groups like in baseball. Many parents also complain if the games start too early according to their schedules. Accomodating large numbers of kids and teams is never an easy task. It’s often a NO WIN situation as parents just complain about everything under the sun these days. The kids often become burned out or disinterested because of parents, so watch the attitude very carefully as kids can and WILL pick up on even the slightest things. Kids notice much more than you give them credit for.

I dont brag OR bitch on Facebook, I think the whole social media thing is anti-social to begin with so I limit my time on the site. I also never ask anyone for advice – period. I do what I know is right for me first. I see nothing wrong with chatting with like minded friends to get their take, but I never take anyone’s advice.

That being said never bring up your troubles in any public forum, that is unless you want your private life to be public. Rumors and gossip all start from somewhere. I bet every parent on this child’s team has already clued in on her body language and knows she does not care for baseball.

Just deal with it!


March 24th, 2014
3:16 pm

Agree with @catlady and @Mom of 3 – and Jarvis – on this one.


March 24th, 2014
3:37 pm

Also, do both parents have to be at each game? Can’t they take turns? Sounds like the person in question 1) is over scheduled, 2) is bored at the games. 3) would rather be poked in the eye than converse with the husband. I agree with others that say that the bored look is not hidden from the children -they know.


March 24th, 2014
3:46 pm

If I was in the middle of a contentious divorce, I would remind him that I’m a grown woman and tell him to go sit somewhere else. If he won’t, then she can go sit on the opposing team’s bleachers. You can’t be contentious in some ways, and not in others. If she’s a whiny person, I’d have divorced her too.

I would have joined another league where games ended no later than a certain time. OR, started them playing later – such as in middle school. Some moms DO NOT CARE how their children behave and act in school. As long as the moms have fed their kids and gotten them out the door, they assume the kids are no longer their concern until they get home. Waste of parenting there.

I suspect you did mean to use mock, as it is a very clear-cut word in its meaning. Did she want the kids and parents to brawl on the field to liven things up for her?


March 24th, 2014
3:57 pm

TWG – I usually think that the commenters are too hard on you, but today I am having a hard time disagreeing with them.

“I love that she’s judging these poor little guys trying to hit the ball.” – REALLY!

I can be as snarky and irreverent as anyone, but this whole thing seems mean-spirited.

Maybe your friend should just let her ex handle all the baseball games from now on. It would solve two problems at once.


March 24th, 2014
4:08 pm

Is your friend a SAHM?

Who initiated the divorce?

She should be glad he comes to the games, IMHO.

Are they trying to “out-devote” each other?

Good Grief

March 24th, 2014
5:31 pm

Regarding late games …. One single team is not scheduled all the late games. Especially in this age group, the games are rotated so that one team does not get all the early games (parents and coaches having to leaving work early) nor does one team get all the late games. I can see this happening maybe once or twice during a season, but it is not a regular occurance.

Baseball is an extremely popular Spring sport. Most people love America’s favorite game, but there are some parents (and kids) that want and/or need constant action or they get bored. But my gosh these are small kids, they are learning!! Coordination and skills take time to develop. The parent that mocks kids in T-Ball are probably the same ones that will argue with the umpires and get upset at their kid for making a mistake in high school.

Based on your details, the friend is really uptight (and not just about the chatty ex) !

Good grief lighten up! The apple won’t fall far from the tree! ;)

just wondering

March 24th, 2014
6:02 pm

My son is now 19 and when I got divorced from his dad ( age 10 )…we never sat together at games and he stopped coming a few year later when I was dating a police officer because he was afraid he would get arrested for not paying child support or driving on a suspended license.


March 25th, 2014
10:05 am

Perhaps the parents could stop being selfish. This is a CHILD’s ball game and the parent wants to make it all about themselves. Your divorce has already made that kid feel awful to begin with and don’t think for a minute your kid doesn’t know how you are acting at THEIR game. Get over yourself.

Anton Chigurh

March 25th, 2014
11:52 am

She can let me know where he lives.


March 25th, 2014
5:16 pm

Elementary baseball games can be super exciting and sometimes very slow. My son’s team has had 3 games this season so far This is the first year of kid pitch for his age group, as they had machine pitch last year. This takes some adjusting time, as the pitchers are new to pitching and the kids are new to hitting a faster pitch. Thus, lots of walks, strike outs and runs scored from base stealing and walks. The first two games only had 1 or 2 hits per team. By the 3rd game, there was a lot more action. It was fun to watch. So, whether it is boring or not for the audience can depend on whether the kids are adjusting to the new set up at the various age levels and also what position your child plays in the field.


March 26th, 2014
4:58 am

Good grief! Why don’t you just keep your child at home the next morning and allow them to sleep in that one or two days they are scheduled late….it’s just school anyway. Then teachers won’t have to hear, “why is ___ sleeping? I want to sleep too!”


March 28th, 2014
12:20 pm

For your kids sake – sit together! When I divorced, a counselor said it best. His parents divorced when he was very young and they never sat together at events, etc… When he graduated college and received his diploma he had to figure out which parent to go to first and which one to disappoint. Even as an adult, he had issues with his parents not sitting together at functions. Your kids did not ask to be put in the situation they are in. Make it easier on them during the times you have to be together with your ex so they only have to look at one place in the stands for support, one place to go to when they leave the field. The interaction you have now will carry you far as you will be in each others lives for a long time (think grandchildren) so you might as well learn to get along the best you can now. Hope that helps. It has helped me.