Parenting through Sports

 I’m a football guy, through and through.  I live, eat, and breathe football.  You can probably tell by my account name & profile picture.  To me, my love of sports presents both an opportunity and a dilemma – should I push my son to enjoy football, let him just speak up if he wants to play, or get him involved with every sport until he finds one or two that he likes most?

     Well, my son is young now but is playing pee-wee football and is pretty into it.  But when we talk football, he doesn’t seem that into it.  I can’t tell if this feeling is because I’ve got, like, 30 years of football on him, or if its something else.  I’m not sure if he’s going to stick with it, but I feel that it’s my job to encourage him to press along and stick with it.  My thinking is that if in a year he doesn’t seem very enthusiastic about it, I’ll talk to him about trying out soccer or baseball.  I’ve always admired the game of baseball, so that would be a great connection for us.

      But, oddly enough, it’s that very push that I have for him to love football, or secondarily, baseball, that makes me somewhat uneasy.  I want badly to have a strong connection over sports with him, but I don’t want to force his hand.  A talk I had with my wife the other day helped to cement this idea.  She said something along the lines of, “He’s your son.  But he’s also his own little man.”

      That made me soft in the stomach.  He really is his own little man…and I can’t wait for him to grow into himself further.  I can only guide him in his exploration of sports, and help him land on something that he truly enjoys.  I guess that’s really what matters – finding what he’s really, naturally into, and pushing him to explore it more. 

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