My son could care less about sports.
He doesn’t like football, he can barely catch a ball, and he’s certainly not the most coordinated kid. The thing is, we live in a very football-oriented town. Almost all the boys he’s friends with, or who live on our street, play football. It seems like sports in general are the center of importance in the community we’re a part of. But, does that bother my son? Nope. Not one bit, and I love it.
My son would rather draw and write his own books or build awesome Lego buildings. But, it’s not to say that he’s not an active kid. He loves playing outside, wrestling with our dogs and running around with friends. He’s happy and carefree and perfectly content doing what makes him happy, not with what all his friends are doing.
With that said, my husband and I do try and introduce him to sports. Mostly just because we want him to at least know how to catch and kick a ball, as a life skill of sorts. He does participate in soccer and baseball, and really enjoys them. But honestly, what he enjoys most about both is the social aspect. He’s a social butterfly and loves just playing with other kids, no matter what they’re actually playing.
Here’s the thing that doesn’t sit well with me though…
I’ve been really dishearted by how other parents react to my son. They treat him as though being an athlete is boys are “supposed to be” and that there is something wrong with him. I’ve gotten comments similar to, “Really, he doesn’t play want to play football? Why?” Ummm, because he doesn’t want to. Is that a good enough answer to that question? And honestly, he’s only 6 years old. So, I’m more than ok with him not getting his head knocked around constantly by other kids.
I never noticed until I became a “boy mom” that boys are apparently supposed to love and also be good at sports. So naturally, when my son showed little interest in sports when he was younger, I felt some pressure to try and encourage or push it more. Of course I don’t want my kid feeling excluded because he can’t do something well. And I know that this fear will continue to grow as my son gets older and he starts becoming more self-aware of what his peers are doing. I know how important sports are in our community, and I know that his lack of interest will start to set him apart eventually.
All I can hope for is that we’ve instilled a strong sense of confidence in him.
We all want and hope for our kids to be confident and “I don’t care what other people think of me” little people. But, we all also know what high school is like.
So, I’m going to continue to encourage him to be himself, just like every parent does. If he someday starts getting into a sport, then great! If not, that’s great too. The person I see him becoming is so wonderful, and I wish I could bottle up his carefree attitude right now, and unleash it on him when he’s a teenager.
Currently, my son is enrolled in a “Hip hop boys only dance class” and he loves it. (In case you’re wondering, it’s just as cute as it sounds) And honestly, him knowing how to dance and be confident dancing is probably going to help him out greatly in the future. (I’m looking at you, high school dances!) It’s things like this that make me happy. Seeing him love and be passionate about an activity that maybe isn’t the “norm,” is a wonderful thing to witness.
Watching my son dance or seeing the sense of accomplishment on his face when he finishes a Lego set by himself, is the best thing ever. Because whether your kid is having the time of his life catching a touchdown, or finishing a chapter book, seeing your kid find joy is really what it’s all about.