This can be a tough one to answer… the “uuugh, mom, do I have to go to softball?” before EVERY practice. Let me tell you, that’s a good sign. My son and daughter were totally different. When we got Nick involved in sports at 4, he never once complained about going. He was obviously ready to get his “sport”on. But, with Ava, I knew she wasn’t ready when I had to pull her by her blonde tendrils kicking and screaming to practice. And it wasn’t just softball… it was any kind of practice…. swimming lessons, soccer and dance.
All she really wanted was to just play with her friends. So instead of me throwing dough at every sport imaginable when she was in Kindergarten, I just stopped. She was happier and so was my pocketbook. I slowly eased her back into soccer and found some of her friends that she liked to play with. Whammo… that did the trick. That team went to basketball and again a great fit. We added gymnastics during the summer and she looks forward to going, so I know it’s a sport for her. Not once has she said, “awwww, I don’t want to go.”
I think it’s important to judge your child’s temperament… because you can ruin a sport for a child early on. I sure did for my daughter in softball. She couldn’t stand it. I think the reason is because I threw her in before she was ready and standing around a field playing in the dirt to pass the time wasn’t her cup of “joe.”
As a child gets older, you have to use your mommy telepathy power sometimes to find out if your kid is doing a sport to please you or because he or she loves it. If you’re lucky, your child will flat out tell you… “mom, this stinks!” That happened to me with Nick at age 9 when my son had gained a few lb’s and running up and down the the soccer field seemed like a torture chamber to him.
Listen to the verbal and physical signs next time you tell your child it’s time to go to practice… especially if you’re interrupting him in something he dearly loves. Here is my rule of thumb:
No complaints? ~ You’ve got yourself a winner!
A little complaint ~ Stick it out, could be age and temperament.
Kicking and screaming ~ Give it up… find another sport or hobby… who needs the headache, right?