Parents, it’s time for a test.
If you answer yes to any one of these 10 questions, it might be time to evaluate priorities.
If you say yes to three or more, it’s time for a family meeting
And if you said yes to more than 5? It’s time for an intervention.
1. Do you struggle to find things other than sports to talk about with your child?
2. Do you lose sleep because you’re worried about your child’s sports struggles?
3. Do you forego family vacations because every nearly every summer weekend is filled with a tournament?
4. Do you assume that your child will play sports through middle school, high school and even into college, without even discussing it with him?
5. Are you more concerned about your child’s playing time than you are with your child’s grades?
6. Are you stressing about every game your child plays?
7. Are you keeping your child from trying non-sports interests they really want to try because they are too busy with sports?
8. Do you have your young child on more than one team at a time?
9. Are you fearful of saying “no” to any sports opportunity, worried that your child will fall behind other players who say “yes” to those opportunities?
10. Are you constantly nagging your child to work hard, to practice, practice, practice, and then practice some more?
I love sports. I’m married to a man who’s coached for 27 years and I’ve been a sports mom for 17. I love competition. I love watching my kids succeed. I love victory. I hate defeat. I go to every game to watch them play. I yell and cheer and get disgusted. I watch sports on TV.
And in the past 17 years, I’ve said “yes” to every one of the above questions, perhaps one at a time, but “yes” nonetheless.
But I always caught myself. I didn’t want to become a parent so obsessed with her children’s sports that there was no life outside of sports in our home.
On some days it seemed like sports ruled–those nights when the husband coach didn’t get home until 8 from practice or when kids were scattered at mealtime–but we managed to keep a balanced perspective. Sports provides an opportunity for growth, fun, exercise, character development, and perhaps a career path (coaching, sports business, and for a very few, the pros). You can give sports a lot of time without letting it consume every moment, every conversation, every activity in your home.
With a balanced perspective, you can keep sports from becoming too important in your home.