Ditch the Jose Mourinho act for a style that will keep your kid happy and engaged.

LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD

Sit your laaitie down and ask if you can “join the team.” You’ll probably get an emphatic “yes.” The point is to let the little guy (or girl) know you’re both on the same side.

BE CONSISTENT

When critiquing play, always lead by citing something commendable (“Great job dribbling upfield!”) before giving feedback (“Now try to keep your head up”). Then finish with another positive, encouraging comment (“You’ll get it, keep working hard!”).

LOOK BEYOND YOUR KID

If you’re not a coach, hang out with other parents. Their comments (like “That was a sweet pass” or “They’re crowding the ball”) can help you lose the tunnel vision for your child and see the whole team.

STOKE INSPIRATION

If you see your lad’s motivation dragging, whip up a game at home to focus on skills while still having fun. For kicking strength, tack up a target on a brick wall and see if he can nail it with the ball. For ball control, offer him ice cream for stringing together five juggles.

DISCIPLINE PRIVATELY

No kid responds well to public scolding, so if yours is acting out or not being a team player, pull him aside; then you can switch to parent mode. Explain why it’s important that he accept the consequences for his actions just like any other teammate does. Don’t make a scene. If he’s not receptive, say you’ll finish the talk at home with Mom – but try to avoid mixing at-home disciplinary tactics with on-the-field ones.