Friday, February 18, 2011

Want to play?

I remember the early days with my stepsons when they were dabbling in sports. Soccer was popular choice and always so cute to watch. My youngest stepson, Nathan, played in the three/four-year-olds group and it was extremely entertaining. Of course, some moms had to be out there with their little ones to get them to play. And of course dad was on the sideline yelling out commands with the rest of the excited parents. Fast forward to current day and Nathan is now 11 years old with absolutely no interest in sports.

What do you do when you have a child who has natural athletic ability and zero desire to use it? This is the situation we have with Nathan. Remember that I mentioned dad shouting commands from the sidelines? To say the least, dad loves sports and the concept of Nathan having no interest is truly mind-boggling.

What’s a parent to do? I’m sure most of you are saying “let him do what he enjoys!” or “don’t pressure him to play sports just to make you happy!” But what do you do if all he would prefer to do is play video games or watch t.v.? 

I shouldn’t say he doesn’t want to play anything. He said he wanted to play baseball again, but there is one problem -- he doesn’t want to practice. I’m not sure if you’ve been around any sports of this age group but we are beyond the kids just getting out there and playing in the dirt or picking flowers in the outfield. At this age it is competitive. And if you put your child on a team and he does not want to practice and strikes out each time he is up to bat, you are setting him up for a real self-esteem beating. He said he would play football if he didn’t have to run the sprints. Hmmm. Don’t think that will fly either.

We have all seen the reports of childhood obesity. Nathan is far from this issue but we feel like it is important to stay active to maintain a healthy lifestyle.We did get the Kinect that goes with the Xbox so he is at least jumping up and down and running in place while playing some of those games. So what else does he like? He likes art, loves to build things, fix things, loves the dogs and he does play saxophone. Maybe we could get him to start a neighborhood dog walking service?  Ideas? Anyone?!

Makala Pollard is a Sr. Marketing Specialist at Texas Health Resources and Stepmom to two boys.

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