Children, Sports and Parental Involvement

20 Mar

{This post is the first of on an ongoing thought series on children’s involvement in sports, as well as parental influence and contribution.}

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Someone asked me the other day about sports and kids… in particular they asked how much, as parents, they should support the process. My first response was to say, “A lot,” but then I thought about it a bit and instead said, “Enough to help them absorb and maintain their own excitement”. What did I mean? I meant that we have to embrace the event in which they are involved with our own genuine enthusiasm based on the real level of our personal experience. It is great if we can have some practical understanding and even better if we are fortunate enough to have had some personal experience of our own.

Ian & Max with Trophies

The Boys with Bike Race Trophies

If our child is going to ballet and neither parent has ever experienced it, or maybe not even experienced any organized dance in his or her own childhood, then the best we can hope for is to simply, and without added drama, hop on board with our children’s enthusiasm and refrain from piling on any of our own, since we have no actual direct experience. Imagining or making up excitement without first hand experience may come back to bit us later on if they begin to take the sport seriously. Then they may not take our excitement for them as real or genuine and therefore may not take it seriously.

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