There is a struggle when you are a parent. OK, let’s be honest, there is a struggle just about every day! LOL. No, but seriously, as a parent, there is a struggle as your kids get older on whether or not to get your children involved in team sports or other athletic activities.
For our family, the decision wasn’t “if” for our boys, the decision was “what sport” and “when?” However, I do understand why in other families, there is a constant battle between to play or not to play. Will my child succeed? Will my child get hurt? HOW much will this all cost? Where will we find the time? The questions seem endless some days, from you AND from your child! And honestly, I wasn’t sure I ever really had the answers (or at least the right ones). However, what I can say is that I wouldn’t change what we did for our children, for anything.
With our oldest son, we let him choose his sport starting out. First, it was soccer. Now, as a young child, there aren’t many options. Pretty much, soccer, t-ball and maybe a little basketball skills clinic, but really that was all we could find. SO, off to soccer we went. And he hated it! He was so bored and just not into it. OKAY then.. off to the next sport. We tried T-ball next. Guess what, HATED that too! Now we started to think, maybe our oldest isn’t into sports at all? Maybe we shouldn’t put him in any sports? Someone then suggested to us, try a sport that isn’t team-oriented, one where he works with others, but also does it for himself, something like Taekwondo. Why not, let’s give it a try. Best.. advice.. ever! After one call, my then 6-year-old fell in love! He was hooked and has never looked back. Now nearly four years later and almost a black belt, my young son has learned skills that are forever skills. I’m not just talking kicking, punching and weapons skills, I’m talking life-learning skills.
Now, does Taekwondo come with a price, sure. But what I am paying for aren’t just his classes, it is the lifelong skills and friendships he is learning and making along the way. The monthly dues we pay for him, and now my youngest son- go so much deeper than that. I am paying also for my child to learn self-esteem, he is learning focus and leadership, he is learning self-control, courtesy for himself and others, how to set goals, how to respect himself and respect others and he is making lifelong friendships along the way.
I am by no means an expert when it comes to kids and sports activities but what I will tell you is that for our family, we wouldn’t have it any other way. Not only are our children learning valuable skills for tomorrow, they are using those skills in everyday life. And this doesn’t just apply to TaeKwondo. Our youngest son, who yes is also involved in the sport, enjoys other sporting activities as well. He enjoys baseball and basketball, not as opposed to team sports as his brother. In fact, he loves them. And he is learning how to be a team player, how to deal with stress on and off the field, how to be a good loser and so much more. These are valuable skills that as a parent, we honestly could use a little help with ourselves.
So am I telling you all to rush out and sign your kids up for the next sporting activity that comes along? Of course not. But what I will tell you is that I firmly believe that getting your children involved in some sort of physical or social activity will only benefit them AND you in the end- even with the financial price tag attached.. it’s been completely worth it.