Dear Bundoo: Why does my daughter hate sports?
Think it’s time to get your little one started in sports? Sounds like a good idea, but what if they don’t want to go? See what our experts say in this week’s Dear Bundoo.
I just signed my 3-year-old up for our community soccer program. It’s her first time in “organized” sports, and I thought she would love it. Boy, I could not have been more wrong. The first day she cried and held on to my leg for dear life. I let her watch from the sidelines thinking that she would slowly feel more comfortable. Day 2 was almost worse; she’s miserable, and I’m miserable. Do I make her stick it out or just throw in the towel? Did I attempt this too early? Lots of kids look like they are having fun, so I’m not sure what I am doing wrong.
—Almost Soccer Mom
Dear Almost Soccer Mom,
First, let me assure you that you have not done anything wrong. I would say three years of age is not too early to participate in organized sports or activities. However, at three they are a little young to grasp the idea of being a team player and have that level of commitment. At this age they are very self-absorbed. While many kids, as you have seen, can enjoy themselves on the field, each game or practice is a separate event. They don’t understand the concept of a “season.”
I do encourage parents to expose their children to all kinds of activities. It is important to understand the risk involved when doing so at this age. Many parents are motivated to keep them in the activity also because they paid for the season. If you feel that quitting is not an option for you, I would encourage you to show up to every practice and game prepared to play but expecting to cheer for the team.
—Answered by Raquel Anderson, Bundoo Behavioral Health Specialist
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