ILoveToWatchYouPlay.com is the preeminent website for parents of young athletes, offering resources, product suggestions, news and advice from the world’s most notable athletes, coaches, youth sports experts and organizations. Founded by sports broadcast veterans Alex Flanagan and Asia Mape, the site seeks to help parents find balance, gain an edge and stay sane in the increasingly competitive world of youth sports.
I signed my 9-year-old up for lacrosse camp this week with a handful of his best buddies. It was a free camp, put on by my friend’s high school son and his lacrosse teammates. My son loves anything involving sports – competition, tackling, jumping, throwing, catching, counting, dirt, balls and sticks. It was perfect … for both of us actually (free and local for me)! I thought my son would be ecstatic, so I was surprised the night before when I mentioned I’d be dropping him off in the morning and he started crying and begging me not to make him go.
“Do I push or pull? Force him to go? Or let him make his own choice?” I thought to myself before asking him a few questions that would help me decipher what was behind this unexpected panic.
If you are a parent, you’ve undoubtedly been in this situation before. Your kid desperately doesn’t want to do something. You know if they push outside their comfort zone they’ll have fun or a positive experience. You wonder whether you should force them to do it or give them the freedom and independence to decide for themselves. The right answer depends on the circumstances and the cause of your child’s fear.