Tuesday, March 22, 2011

To Push or Not to Push? That is the question.

As a dad who loves sports, I am at a pivitol point in my fatheringhood (not a real word) where I need to be careful and think (hard for me) and choose my words and make my decisions wisely.  This has to do with 2 of my C's.  Right now we have two C's that are involved in soccer.  I believe that soccer might be the most important sport for a young child to play.  Continuous running, all the kids are involved, its outdoors and when they play at a young age, you dont need to know a lot about it except run, kick and run somemore and kick the ball in a goal.

Now here is where it gets tricky.  C2. He is really good at soccer. He has played 2 years already and is playing this year on a team that is well below his level.  He could be playing in the 8&Under team but he said he didnt want to play with them yet. And Im ok with that.  And im ok with him staying on the 6&Under team but what I am not ok with is the way the local county/city is running the soccer program.  I could do a better job running the soccer program if I was working for the rec. dept.

I need to be careful of pushing the kids to much to where they dont want to play.  As much as I want to take C2 and C3 out there and practice on things, I want them to have fun as kids and still have fun when they go out and play the game. But man when I say he's good, I really mean it. And C3 for never playing before, she is good too.  I just know that if I got them out for a little while extra on Sunday they could be really awesome.

C1, he has things I want to push him at too. He is so smart and creative.  Do I take him aside and tell him that instead of drawing for fun or building lego's for fun he needs to draw or build certain things? I could maybe but then would that be as fun? Probably not!  He is a great reader. Do I push him to read more and then he wont want to read when he is supposed to?  I always liked to draw when I was little and his age. Do I make him start to draw comic books or graphic arts to show his ability and make him better at it?

See we have a cousin that plays professional baseball in the Phillies and he was always playing ball. ALWAYS. Never at home, on the road, on the go, many different teams, missing family events and school functions.  I can remember him saying many times, he would rather be hunting, fishing, doing whatever, but no he had ball.

See I dont want to be that parent.  I dont want the kids to become so good at something but have it be at the risk of them never wanting to do it again. I dont want the stuff they love to do become a pain in the ass later in life.

So I will make sure I pay attention to how much pressure I put on the C's to be good at something. I will let it fall naturally for them.  But I am here to tell you, dont be surprised if you hear of C1 constructing or drawing a massive plan for something huge in the future.  Dont be shocked if you see C2 scoring goals in game on ESPN Deportes'. C3, hell she may wind up doing whatever she wants, she has her mothers grit and grind. C4, Climbing Mount Everest and trying to roll down it?  He's crazy like that.

What and how do you approach your children in the situation?  Push Them?  Let them be?

Whatever they do I will be there to support them and hopefully I wont push them to hard to where they wont just sit around and do nothing.

And once again I am trying to spell check and it is not working. So have fun reading my error's and thinking to yourself how bad of a speller I am. And if you dont like reading my rongly speled post today den come bak anuther day when the spell chek es fissed.

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Dari March 22, 2011 at 10:11 AM   Reply to

This is a tough one that I think we all face at some point. My 9 year old daughter is good at soccer and could be great with practice. Her coach wants her to play soccer 24/7, but I still want her exposed to other sports too. Choosing one sport to dedicate your entire childhood to at 9? Not ok with me.

But is that holding her back from being a superstar? I don't know.

I know it is highly unlikely any of my kids will play professional sports and I don't want their identities so wrapped up in any one thing that should something tragic happen and they can no longer do that one thing (blown knee etc.) that they fall apart.

But how young do you have to start to get the edge to be the really good players? How much diversity can you encourage before buckling down and picking one or two things?

Those are questions I haven't found answers to yet...

Lindsey @ The Hill House March 22, 2011 at 10:21 AM   Reply to

My husband and I talk about this one a lot too. Like your C1, our oldest likes to draw/paint/color and play with Lego's, All. Day. Long. But should we enroll him in some sort of art program so that he can learn the "technicalities" of art? Or just let him continue doing something he enjoys until he's ready to move forward? We have always said that we would push our kids to try something one time. After that, it's up to them if they want to continue. Of course we urge them to continue, but in the end we let our kids determine the limits. But man it sure is hard not to push just a little bit harder when they say they don't want to do something. Oh the joys of trying to make the right decisions for your kids!

Jenny & Trey March 22, 2011 at 1:36 PM   Reply to

Gently push from a logical perspective. Overcome their questions/objections about the sport if need be (if they want to) and let them have fun.

It brings back memories of Salt n Pepa too, Push it real good.

Anonymous,  March 23, 2011 at 9:01 AM   Reply to

I'm a pusher...I bet you wouldn't have guessed that! There are so many kids who have potential but are never pushed to do anything with it...Why does pushing have to be a bad thing? I'm not saying FORCE your kids to do one thing 8 hrs a day 7 days a week...BUT...if they love it and they WANT to...I don't see it as a bad thing...I think it's all a matter of listening to your child and learning to read them...I don't see any reason why a child can't be pushed outside their comfort zone...The thing that I have figured out is that they WILL tell you when they have had enough or when they are being pushed too far, you HAVE TO back off when they speak up though! This teaches 3 teaches them that they can do MORE than they really thought they teaches them that when they DO speak up you will respect their wishes...and it teaches YOU the parent to LISTEN to your child...which is something we ALL forget to do sometimes.

~Rachel March 24, 2011 at 4:38 AM   Reply to

I am a sorta pusher! We have the kids in sports and they play. My 4 yr old will tell me he wants to sit and have a snack and watch the game instead of play sometimes. I make him play.
I figure that (a) this is all good for him and (b) he can sit and have a snack anytime. Games last an hour.

We do ask the kids what sport they want to play before each new season starts. This past fall, they both wanted to do fall baseball. This spring, baseball again. But, in the fall, they want to do soccer.
{Soccer is soo are so right!}

The point is, we don't want the kids to have to choose any particular sport at this young age. We just want to emphasize that sports and exercise are good for them. And if they choose the sport they want to play and we pay for them to play it...they will play. I guess it is all about committing to what they say they want to do. And when that season is over, they can choose to do something else.

Q March 24, 2011 at 8:22 PM   Reply to

That's rough. I don't have kids, but one of my biggest fears when I was once considering them was this same scenario if I had a son. Would I push him towards his interest? Would he flock to it on his own? Would he do what I once had an interest in as a kid? I don't have an answer on that one. I guess it depends on the personality of the kid. Good luck!

Unknown March 26, 2011 at 1:30 PM   Reply to

I am definitely not a pusher. But if Little Butt seems to be interested in something, I try to encourage rather than push. Buying things for her that will help her grow in that area. Talking to her about her interests. Basically just keeping it interesting. It's when they get bored and think that's all that they are is when it gets hard. I think continuing to recognize that the kids have many interests is important too. But I am definitely not as practiced a parent as you are so I look forward to hearing more about the C's and your successes.

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