If you’re a parent, you know that you have a million decisions to make. You have to figure out exactly how to raise your kids. You’re the adult, so it’s you who decides whether they can have a bunch of Snickers bars for dinner or whether you want them to eat their broccoli.
Sports is one potentially tricky area. There are certainly some compelling reasons why you should allow your kids to play them, but there are also arguments against it.
In this article, we’ll break down some both of this issue’s sides.
Concussions are one big reason why you might not want your kid to play sports. Recently, in a single decade, doctors noticed that children who suffered traumatic brain injuries increased 57%. You cannot take that sort of thing lightly.
With concussions, you might notice:
- Nausea or vomiting
There are other possible symptoms as well, none of them pleasant. You don’t want your child to have to go through that. It’s awful for them, and even when a concussion heals, that might not be the story’s end.
If a child sustains a single concussion, that’s bad for them, but it might be the first of many. You may decide to let them get back out on the court or the field, and if you do, they might suffer another one.
If any person sustains multiple concussions, they may have to deal with chronic traumatic encephalopathy. This is serious brain damage that can completely alter someone’s personality. They might experience depression or suicidal thoughts.
You might decide sports are not worth it if your child faces these scary possibilities.
They’re Expensive and Time-Consuming
You also might decide you don’t want your kids to play sports because they take up a lot of your time. As an adult, perhaps you’re already:
- Working multiple jobs
- Exhausted all the time
Maybe your child wants to play hockey, football, soccer, etc. They might need you to drive them to and from practice in the afternoons or on the weekends.
You might not want to do it because you have so much on your plate already. Maybe they say they can take public transportation instead, but you feel like they’re too young for that.
Also, sports equipment costs money, and often, it’s not exactly cheap. Getting your child those football pads, catcher’s mitt, hockey stick, etc. might not be in your budget right now. You’ll also have to pay league dues if your child is in a recognized youth sports league.
You Might Have Covid-19 Concerns
It’s also true that right now, the pandemic is still going on. At some point, we might have a vaccine for it, but we do not have one yet.
You might feel like sports are not safe until the pandemic is over. If your kid wants to try a sport like football, that involves them crashing into other kids when the CDC says we should stay at least six feet away from one another.
You might feel like once the pandemic is over, you’ll allow your child to play sports again. For now, though, it’s not safe for them, or you either, since they can catch Covid-19 and bring it back into your home.
They’re Great Exercise
On the other hand, if you wait till the pandemic ends and your child wants to play sports, you might allow them to do so because they are excellent exercise. Kids should get out in the fresh air and run around, and sports is one of the things that lets them do that.
Childhood obesity is something that this country continues to grapple with, and sports are a way to fight it. If you don’t let your kid play sports, they might spend many hours each day sitting on the couch, playing video games.
If they live this mostly sedentary lifestyle and don’t eat very healthy food, they can easily become overweight or obese. You can help them combat that with a better diet and sports.
They’ll Stay Studious
Studies also show that if a kid plays sports, they’re more likely to stay in school. You don’t want your child dropping out. If they do, they’ll never graduate, and they’ll have fewer job prospects.
If your kid plays sports, they might need to keep their grades up to do so. You can incentivize the sports they play. You can tell them they can only continue playing if they keep their grades up.
If they’re athletic, and they enjoy playing sports more than anything else, they’ll have plenty of reason to study for tests and try to get good grades. It’s a sound strategy that often pays off, helping both the parents and children.
It Teaches Them About Camaraderie and Fair Play
Sports can also teach your kids some valuable life lessons. Your child’s coaches should stress that if they play the game hard, it doesn’t so much matter whether they win or lose. This will teach them about integrity and honor.
It’s also great if they can spend time with their teammates and bond with them. They might be good friends with these kids and hang out with them at school or on the weekends. Sports are a way for shy kids to make friends.
There are some compelling reasons for sports and against them. Living in a pandemic right now complicates matters since children playing some sports is not possible. However, we’ll probably have a vaccine someday soon, and when that happens, sports will start up again all over the country.
You’ll have to think about what we said and decide what you’re going to prioritize. One thing to remember, though: kids experience boredom easily. If you decide you don’t want them sports-involved, it could be they’ll get into drugs or gangs instead.
Where kids don’t have anything to do with themselves, mischief starts to sound more tempting. That could be the one thing that makes you decide sports are okay.