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"Have You Had a Sports Discussion with Your Kids?"

Are you ready for the sports discussion with your kids? Are they ready to start playing some organized sports?

All you need to do is ask them!

Expose kids to different sports to see which one they like best.

You just have to try them in a sport to see what they will like, and you never know what will happen. That is part of what I love about my kids in sports. It's fun to watch them find the sport they like and have fun playing it!

The key is to be patient and understanding with your kids. I have seen countless parents pushing their kids into sports they don't like. This only makes the relationship worse between the parent and child.

Do's and Don'ts for Parents of Young Athletes

Pushing them isn't good, but sometimes a nudge is okay.

Football player with football

By "nudge" I mean I simply asked them to give it a try first before they made up their mind completely.

Kids don't always like to try new things out of fear. They might fear they will get hurt or that they won't be a good player.

Most of the time, my kids found out they really liked a sport after they tried it the first time and wanted to keep playing.

A couple of times they decided they had grown tired of a sport, so they simply finished out the season and tried another sport the next season.

Can You Have an Honest Sports Discussion With Your Kid?

My husband and I have an open relationship with our kids where they feel comfortable telling us which sports they like and don't like. We would have a sports discussion several times a week.

I always ask them "what is your favorite sport?" and "which one would you rather not play again?".

I do not want to waste their time or ours having them play a sport that they don't like. This is counterproductive and could lead to stress in your kids at a young age.

Kids have their whole life to experience stress, so I don't want to add to it. :)

We as parents should be able to talk to our kids about anything, not just the sports discussion. We don't want to get a preconceived idea of what our kids should do for a living before they are even grown.

As parents, we sometimes hope that our kids will be like us or maybe even opposite of us, but either way it is still a preconceived idea.

We should just be careful not to force our own ideas onto our children as they will have their own ideas of what they'd like to be when they grow up.

Instead of Forcing Opinions... Try Suggesting Instead

For example, maybe you hoped your boy would be a successful businessman either working for a big corporation or being the boss of their own company one day. This is a common one, so I thought I would throw it in.

Who wouldn't like to see their son succeed financially?

What if instead your child showed an extreme interest in sports rather than business?

Maybe your boy plays football and decides he wants to play for the NFL. Maybe it's a longshot, but it happens and everyone needs a dream.

Or maybe since the NFL is too competitive, your boy decides to be a physical therapist for sports injuries. This profession would at least keep him close to the game of football he loves.

A physical therapist might not make as much money as a business executive, but your child would be happy. Isn't that what we all really want for our kids?

Happy girl with mouth open

What if you did not agree with your son's choice and kept on pushing them into getting a business degree rather than physical therapy? What do you think would happen over the course of several years of this?

Children are very impressionable and want their parents approval even if they do not agree with what they are being pushed into. To get this approval, children generally try to do what is expected of them.

If they feel they are still not getting approval, they might do the exact opposite and rebel completely. This is a natural instinct, and it is generally referred to as the "fight or flight" response.

The fight or flight response is a natural instinct of animals when they are confronted with a stressful situation. They either stay and fight or they run and hide.

Pushing your children could lead them to make a drastic decision based on stress or fear. Decisions based on these emotions are usually not the right one.

Choose A Sport with Your Kids

I like to think of playing kids sports as a starting place for your child's future. They learn about some fundamentals of life even though they do not realize they are being taught.

OK, so here is where you open yourself up to the sports discussion. Let them tell you what sports they are interested in trying.

If you do not let your child even pick the sport they like to play, what other aspects of their life might they feel they cannot choose for themselves?

Will they feel trapped, depressed, scared, unhappy, or resentful? Do you want to risk your child having those feelings?

Of course we as parents are here to discipline our kids, and I am not talking about that. Discipline is a different thing altogether.

Kids may feel some resentment toward their parents temporarily, because they simply wanted to get some candy at the store and you told them, "no, not today". That is teaching them that they can't always get want they want, and is definitely not part of the sports discussion.

It may seem like a small thing now, but every decision that you make for your child or that your child makes for themself can make a big difference in their life down the road.

Just keep your mind open when it comes to having the sports discussion with your kids, and let them express their different interests. You can always suggest different sports and encourage them in the one's they already play.

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