Passionate About San Diego
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My Son is Not Sporty, and I’m Okay with it!

My son is not sporty! He has never been into baseball, soccer or basketball. He’s never really had the inclination to shoot hoops or play catch.

And, I’m okay with it.

At three, we enrolled him in T-ball, and as most toddlers do, he ran around chasing the ball eventually getting frustrated. From 5-7 he played soccer; at first we thought he liked it. Then his frustration set in, as he never scored goals. In the end he hated soccer.

What are we as parents supposed to do in these situations?

Do we keep pushing our kids into sports they are clearly not good at?

Do we let them quit?

What would you do?

I’ll tell you what we did- we let him decide. If he’s not having a good time and he hates doing sports then I’m OKAY with it. 

Over the past two years my son has had the opportunity to do Running Club at school. THIS is something that he actually enjoys to do. We meet at the field once a week and he gets moving and running. He really likes it.

Yet, one day last Spring he came home a sweaty mess and red with anger. A kid told him that he ran “too slow” and didn’t want to pass the baton to him during the relays. I get it though, he isn’t the fastest, and he knows it. But he likes running and I want to encourage him.

What I’ve come to realize is that the expectation from other boys is that he IS sporty. Recess comes along and kids want to play basketball, he gets excluded because he isn’t good enough. His friends play soccer and he runs around after the ball, never getting a pass. And as I write this my eyes fill with tears because this, this is what I’m not okay with.

So what do we do now? Force him to be sporty, drag him to practices, make him do something he doesn’t want to? No!

My son loves art, video games, music, reading. He can entertain himself in a made up world of imagination and draw his little brains out. His pastime is watching videos on how movies are made, how to draw characters and build a story line. He likes music and his favorite composer is Mozart. You see, my son is who he is and if he isn’t the sporty kid that is okay with me.

But is it okay in elementary school society?

We expect and impose certain codes and rules for boys and girls even in this day in age. We expect that a guy will know how to mow the lawn and catch ball, to grill a mean steak and fix a flat tire; the same way we expect girls to know how to put on make up and do laundry or whatever else seems girly.

My point is this, my son gets excluded and made to feel bad by the other boys because he is not good at one thing, when in reality he is good at many things. Not only that, but as a society we haven’t told our boys that it’s okay to be themselves and not fall under these “boy rules”.

We’ve done it with our girls! We keep empowering our girls to be and do anything. They can be sporty if they like, or not, and it’s okay.

To the mom of the boy who made my son feel bad on several occasions: just tell your son that it’s okay to be a boy and not be sporty. It’s okay to love music and art and be creative! It’s okay to pass the baton even when the next kid isn’t the fastest.

I love my son for the little boy he is and I continue to hope that as he gets older he encounters others that are like him. People that will build him up.

sporty

For now, I will just tell him that if he isn’t the fastest and someone tells him that, then it’s the harsh truth. Even when it breaks a mother’s heart as the new school year begins and he’s decided he wants to stop doing running club (update since the beginning of the school year). I’ll keep encouraging him to do the things that make him happy because that’s what us moms need to do; encourage, mold, help and push them. I will teach him that in life we encounter all sorts of people and we need to build a tough skin to survive.

Most of all I will teach him to do what he loves.

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4 Responses to My Son is Not Sporty, and I’m Okay with it!

  1. jessica lynn September 26, 2017 at 8:31 am #

    I think you’re doing all the right things! You’re letting him try new sports and activities and letting him figure out what he likes. You know what? My husband didn’t play a single sport growing up. Not one. But he’s totally fine and (mostly) “normal” today 🙂 He did admit to being scared of having a son, because he wouldn’t know how to be a sports dad with him, but I just reminded him that maybe he won’t be into sports either! There are plenty of other things your son can get involved in; and I’m certain he’ll find his groove sooner than later!

    • Elisa
      Elisa September 26, 2017 at 1:25 pm #

      Thank you,
      My hubby has also never been a sporty guy. He did run cross country in HS and running is something he has encouraged our son to do.
      It’s not an easy thing for boys to talk about or discuss even as adults sometimes. Because as my son has experienced, my husband did too; it’s an expectation that they are sporty.
      And yes, here’s other things he can do. He likes playing piano and we hope to resume his classes this fall 💜

  2. Krystal
    Krystal September 26, 2017 at 11:17 am #

    Aww I understand this! My son likes sports but his first love is computers and vidoe games. He is so advanced in technology I would hate to see him move away from that. My conflict is only with health and him being so sedentary so he works out now at home. So I understand and honestly my high school sweetheart was a musician, writer and poet and he was brilliant. As a lover of the arts, foster that! It may be challenging in his younger years but he will find his niche and his people!!! And high five Mama for fostering your childs interests!!! Xoxo

  3. Elisa
    Elisa September 26, 2017 at 12:14 pm #

    Health and movement have been big for us too. I want him to move and be healthy. Since we homeschool and he’s only at school on two days, I have to make sure to give him time to run laps around our property. We have a trampoline that he can use at any time for jumping and getting his little body moving. Alas we also have a basketball hoop in case he ever decides to go out and shoot hoops. I feel your conflict too momma. We love our unique kids just like the next mom, and we want them to be themselves and be accepted. 💜

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