Soccer season is in full swing. This is the time when parents run around ferrying the precious little ones all over the city trying to find which field they play on. It could be very stressful, especially if you are a parent with more than one kid playing soccer. In my case, I have 3 and each of them. On different teams.
Last week it was my turn to take my 3-year old to his second game of the season. My wife told me that he was doing really good and even scored a goal so I couldn’t wait to see him in action. Unfortunately he seemed more attentive to daddy on the sidelines than he was on the ball. He took regular timeouts to wave at me, inspect the grass and even running off the field prematurely to tell me a story. I kept urging him back to the field of play. When the ball happened to roll his way, he at least ventured to kick it. Not so with some of the other kids.
Soccer is a great and cheap tool for young kids to learn team sports and social skills. I am not sure it is effective if the kids spend the hour standing around inspecting the grass, crying to get off the field or just showing a total indifference to the game. Granted, a few kids do change as the season progresses but in most cases they don’t. I for one would not think it is money well spent to watch my kid wander around a soccer field. For free, I could take the little one to a park and kick a ball around. If he doesn’t like it, we could come home and call it a day. Sometimes as many as three parents are on the field urging their little ones on. Holding their hands and guiding them to the ball like a seeing-eye dog. At my last game, there was a mom with a baby attached to her in one of those baby knapsack things running around the field with her soccer-playing son who was the least bit interested in being there.
Maybe I expect too much. Maybe I’m one of those parents you read about. (No, I’m not!). I just think that there are cheaper ways to get your little ones to get out, play and socialize with other kids. But maybe it’s actually for the parents to socialize with other parents…Maybe the parents need the exercise more than the little ones do. Some parents have taken the hint from their kids and stopped taking them to soccer. “I am not sure he likes it so we don’t bother taking him anymore. Plus, I don’t enjoy chasing him around on the field.” By their actions, the kids have spoken. Maybe they are just not ready for soccer. At least that’s what I think.