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you tell?”. I got some blank looks and
some laughed. “We know out kids”, were
the most common answer. Did they I
thought.
I next asked the kids one by one, what
they liked about the game they just
played. I got some rather interesting
answers to be sure. “my friend Tommy
was here”, “I scored so daddy will be
happy”, “I wanted to go home, by belly
hurt but I had to play”. Had to play?
Why? I asked. “My big brother played
and I have to do everything he did”. Ok
now I had something to talk about. Lets
take a look at why we have our kids in
sports at all.
• Outdoor activity
• Keeps the physically active
• Builds strong bodies
• Builds self confidence
• Kids have fun
• Something we can do together
I am sure there are more reasons but
these came up more often then any
other in my little survey. In this case it
was soccer but in the case of Hockey the
outdoor element is obviously removed.
None the less I feel that the parents
intent here was to make the kid get out
of the house, not to just be out doors. I
mean it that was the case, make him run
around the house a few laps. Keeping
the child active is a great idea and with
so many children being fatter then ever
I am all for it. Again though, it that was
all we could take a walk with them or
ride our bikes. Why sports? Building of
the bodies is true to an extent, but it can
also be too much for a child. We have to
make sure it is done with moderation.
Self confidence. Now here is something
I hear all the time. Sure when the kid is
good at what they do and when they feel
they can overcome problems by trying
harder that is good, but what will happen
to a 4 year old child who fails? We will
get back to this is a moment. Kids have
fun. I should hope so, but I saw a few
who did not and there are some reasons
why. And lastly, we do something
together. Something we can both enjoy
and be excited about. Fair enough, so
long as that is not a one way street.
Lets break down these arguments
further. What will motivate us to
chose a sport for our children? Our
own experience usually. Did we play
something as kids. Were we good? I
see parents projecting themselves onto
their kids by first choosing the sport,
then expecting allot from the kids.
Often more then they can deliver. I saw
a man in a part once who was throwing
a softball to a very small buy, maybe
5 years old. The boy kept missing and
missing and all the man said was “come
on, try!”. The buy tried and failed.
Tried and failed. he started crying and
his father said “there is no crying in
baseball, now hit the ball”. I was ready to
take the father aside and show him my
size 12 shoe but I thought better of it. We
can all see what he did wrong, but can
we see a lesser example of the same? Are
we doing it maybe without knowing it.
Perhaps.
We as humans learn much faster from
failure then success so make sure you
arrange for your children to succeed
the first few times you do something
with them. Positive thinking. If they fail
anyway, change the thing you are doing
until they succeed. I kicked a soccer ball
to my son and although he could kick
it back, he chose to pick it up with his
hands. Instead of telling him that picking
it up was bad and thus make the whole
thing negative, I showed him how he
could throw the ball to my foot and then
I did the same. Soon the ball was back
on the ground and we were playing like
normal. They don’t know the rules, they
just want to succeed and they measure
that success by your reaction and your
praise. If they don’t have any fun with
something or just plain can’t do it, move
on to something else. Do not push them
into some sport because that is what you
wanted to do. Let them show you what
they want. Expose them to several and
observe them. Are they quick at picking
up the rules? Can they do it will?
In the end it is most important that
they have fun. They have fun if you are
proud of them and if they are allowed to
succeed. Give them every means to do so
and let them lead the way. Not every kid
will like soccer because his brother did.
Let him chose for himself. That builds
confidence.
H