By NIMROD NL QUIÑONES
Life would have been much easier if our children came out with a manual on how to rear them when they were born, so we parents often try to do what our parents used to do to us or do something that we hoped was done to us when we were kids.
Back in the 1990s, it became a trend to start them young in sports. This was the decade when stars like Martina Hingis for tennis and Tiger Woods for golf became big names and their common denominator was starting at a very young age.
This led to many parents enrolling their very young kids in the summer sports programs hoping that someday they would became the next big star of a sport.
Personally, I think I would have been much better in the sports that I play had I been given the same lessons that my son got while he was younger. Unfortunately such was not the case for my generation.
When I was a kid, summer sports meant going to the YMCA to learn to swim or try karate. When I became a parent, there were already so many choices not only of sports, but also of venues and schedules of training.
When we got our kids into sports, many probably thought that it was as simple as plug and play devices. Nope, not that simple especially when we realized that getting them into sports also meant taking more responsibilities.
One was getting up early even during the school vacation because they can’t be late for practice. Another is that we have to carry so much stuff not only to make sitting around the field more comfortable for us, but also to carry provisions for our child and other kids whose parents might not be as dutiful as we are.
There are also the added expenses to pay for like the lessons, coaches, equipment, uniforms, participation in tournaments, and travel.
Then there is also the part when we cheer for them during games and dealing with the parents and supporters of the children of the opposing teams.
We have seen many times how ugly this can get if the parents don’t know how to behave.
As sporting parents, we must bear in mind that our actions can make or break our dreams for our children. (You can refer to my article yesterday entitled “Sports Parenting 101” on some basic rules that you need to follow: http://www.1baoshi.com/sports-parenting-101/)
Let us always remember why we got our kids into sports in the first place before we do anything that might jeopardize our dreams for them.
There is no doubt that as normal parents, we would want the best for our children, but most often the best way to help them have that is to learn stand back and allow them to grow without us holding their hands all the time.
I don’t impose any sport on my children although at times I let them know of my wishes especially my 11-year-old daughter, who has grown quite tall and I hope would pick up volleyball soon. My son, who is 17 years old, still plays football with a lot of passion unless it would come into conflict with school. He tried judo and golf, but I never forced him to play them again.
Sports for kids can be enjoyable for both parent and child if we remember our roles well.
The school break is here once again, I encourage other parents to get your kids into sports.