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Kids & Sports The Good, The Bad and The Soccer Moms

I was blown away when I recently read that childhood obesity had almost tripled over the past three decades. That statistic combined with P.E. being so limited in school, it seems more important than ever to infuse our kids’ schedules with extra physical activity. As a mom who values a healthy lifestyle for my family, I have had my kids in organized sports since they were very little. As a general rule, I think that sports and activities are a positive influence and:

- Add exercise into their daily routine

- Develop teamwork & increase social skills

- Encourage kids to do their best

I have, however, found that there can be some “pitfalls” to watch out for with competitive sports. I’ve seen many parents pick sports for their children based on their own interests rather than the child’s abilities. I’m certainly not saying that exposing your children to many sports is a bad idea, but forcing a child to stay in something that they don’t like and aren’t good at can be painful for everyone involved. Also, as a mom to two new competitive soccer players, I have to say that I had no idea of the time commitment that was involved until we were already immersed in the season. Playing team sports definitely needs to be a family decision as many weeknights and weekends will be spent on the field or court. The biggest challenge I have found is the crazy competitive environment created by many of the parents (I have been guilty of participating in this a few times….I admit!) But after I take a step back….and take a few deep breaths…I look at the friendships my children are making, the effort they are putting forth and the investment they are making in their current and future health. 

If we as parents can set a good example for sportsmanship and encourage our kids to give their best at all times, we set them up to be winners…regardless of what the scoreboard says.

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