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What's the big deal with sports?

Most parents I know place a lot of importance in their kids' playing sports and put their children in sports at an early age in hopes that they will play in middle/High school. Now, I have to admit that sports have always bored me to tears, but trying to get beyond my own prejudice, I still don't see why so many people see it as all that. I understand wanting your child to be active, but plenty of kids manage that without playing formal sports. I also get that you learn about teamwork and getting along with other people, but there seem to be other avenues for learning those skills as well. I just don't understand what the fuss is. Can someone enlighten me?

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Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 10:26 AM on Mar. 1, 2010 in General Parenting

Answers (9)
  • I am not a pusher when it comes to my children playing sports. But when they come to me and ask if they can play I'm not going to deny them that. Both my children played soccer starting at age 3. But it was more of a social or "play time" for them. As they got older (6 or 7) they didn't want to play anymore, and that was fine with us.
    mamaada

    Answer by mamaada at 10:30 AM on Mar. 1, 2010

  • My daughter who is four loves cheer leading, dance and soccer. We let her do these activities because she likes them not because we want her to do them. If she does not like something why spend the money and make her do it, I am not the type of parent to force their kid into a sport, I let her choose what she wants to do. Like now she is showing an interest in racing (my family is really into auto racing and have been involved for years) so we are having her a racing go cart built. If she does not like it once she starts then we will either sale out or let the youngest one try it if she wants but I am not going to force them.

    lapcounter

    Answer by lapcounter at 10:31 AM on Mar. 1, 2010

  • My kids play basketball. They asked to do it and so I let them. They aren't very athletic, and I don't think they will ever make the middle/high school teams, but they enjoy it and are learning teamwork, sportsmanship, and that exercise can be fun. There are other ways for kids to learn those skills, they don't have to play competitive sports - but my kids aren't on a competitive leagues, it's based on fun (Upward.com). I try to support my kids in whatever they want to learn/do and this was just another thing they wanted to do.
    missanc

    Answer by missanc at 10:33 AM on Mar. 1, 2010

  • Playing sports is a lot different than watching sports. I get bored just watching, but when you are playing in the game it is fun and exciting. I played softball for many, many years during my childhood, and some of my fondest memories come from that. It gave me something to look forward to, and an opportunity to get out of the house two or three times a week, with out my parents having to spend a lot of money.

    My kids are doing karate right now, because I want them to learn self-discipline, control, and self-defense. My son has asked to do other sports, such as baseball and football, but he is only 6 years old, so I'm going to wait until he's just a little older before enrolling him in multiple sports. For us, it's all about the exercise, the playtime, the teamwork, and basically all the other things you mentioned above. Yes you can learn those things doing other activities, but we like the sports, so we'll stick with that.
    my2.5boys

    Answer by my2.5boys at 10:34 AM on Mar. 1, 2010

  • I think you do have a point. I don't think it is a big deal....but at the same time I will sign my son up for a sport or activity he is most interested in. Right now he wants to do skate boarding and we have a local skate park with a shop that offers lessons across the street. I don't believe in over scheduling children who have dance, music lesson, gymnastics, and soccer all at the same time and run around car pooling and having to have a social secretary just to fit in a phone call with a friend. But certainly one activity is good.  I will do it for two reasons: one for health.  My husband and I work out, run, swim, bike, do yoga - for health not to compete and we are not obsessive with it.  Who cares if we miss a night or a month of working out?  We only hurt ourselves.  The more important reason: because children see and judge themselves through how other children see them.

    frogdawg

    Answer by frogdawg at 11:34 AM on Mar. 1, 2010

  • This means that if my son is picked on or has peers who doesn't see how great he is at school - his self esteem lowers. I want him to have know there is a bigger world than just school, to have peers who share a common interest unrelated to his school, and can have a wider range of peers who don't view you in the same way as your school mates and teachers do. Your teacher may see you as a hard worker but sloppy. Your karateteacher may see you as dedicated, exacting, and focused.  When you like activity you are involved in (it can be a non sport like art) and good at then your self esteem can be higher.  You enjoy something, your good at it, your working to improve your skills, and your parent is taking the time to support it financially, by providing transportation, and showing up.  I think I will support my child's interests and go from there rather than stress potential scholarships or careers.

    frogdawg

    Answer by frogdawg at 11:45 AM on Mar. 1, 2010

  • I want my kids to at least try. I will give them options and they need to pick at least 1 to try. It is a great way to learn about depending and helping others as well as a way to socialize. In the fall I hope to start my oldest in soccer and let him try it. Maybe next year he can try karate (depends on finances). I don't care if my kids play sports in high school. I just want them to try it at some point and it is easier when you are younger.
    purpleducky

    Answer by purpleducky at 12:23 PM on Mar. 1, 2010

  • You really can't explain it to someone who doesn't get it. It's kind of pointless. We have 4 sons and 2 started playing football at the Pee Wee level and 2 who waited until high school to start. I can tell you that the difference in self esteem and independence between the 2 who started early and the 2 who started late are miles apart. The 2 who played from an early age have always been more focussed, more sure of themselves, not as eager to please others....they focus on meeting their own personal goals & not the goals of others & just more mature over all. The other 2 were less sure of themselves, tried harder to fit in, cared more about what others thought about them, etc.. Sports teaches so many lessons and helps people set individual goals.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:51 PM on Mar. 1, 2010

  • i think some parents get carried away with sports for the young. it seems like you pay a lot of money for 6 games and 6 practices...at 5 years old, i think going to the playground is just as beneficial. i think it is sad when kids have to eat dinner in the car while they are going from school to activity...
    i do think sports are important, i think team players are great people to have around, but i think sports for the young can be silly, maybe a little more for the parents than the children.
    happy2bmom25

    Answer by happy2bmom25 at 4:15 PM on Mar. 1, 2010

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