While we were out running errands yesterday I told Alyssa we needed to stop by and sign her back up for soccer aka swarmball. She said “I don’t want to play soccer again”. I was speechless. I didn’t know how to handle it. Should I assume she is just being difficult (she is a 3 year old afterall) and sign her up anyway? Or should I let her choose what activities she wants to do? I wanted to be careful with how I reacted.
Um, how freakin cute is that??
This is kind of a big parenting decision. How do I want to handle issues like this?
She played in the fall but missed the cutoff age by a little over a month. They let her play anyway but was the youngest by far on the team. She is a rough and tough kid so I figured it would be fine. She had fun in practice but when it was gametime she didn’t really want to play soccer. She just wanted to play. I have a little social butterfly that’s for sure. She wanted to hug her teammates, chase butterflies, etc. They play 4 vs 4 and at one point all 4 kids on her team were giving a big group hug on the field. This was fine by me, she is 3. I am not trying to make her the next Mia Hamm. By the end of the season though she started saying she didn’t want to go to soccer. It was practice twice a week and games on Saturday. So it was a lot. Her practices were also right after naptime so I often had to wake her to get there on time and we wouldn’t get home until after our usual dinner time. Add in the fact Cassidy was only 10 days old at her first practice, the whole experience was kind of hectic.
Why I want her to play:
She no longer naps, so waking up a groggy toddler and dragging her out of the house won’t be an issue.
She does not go to a formal preschool. She listens to me really well, but I want her to learn to listen to other authority figures, like her coach. She did listen pretty well last season besides getting distracted at times.
Its an active thing for her to do. As a stay at home mom I try to stay busy. But there is only so much offered in this small town. I don’t want her sitting at home bored asking to watch tv. Don’t even get me started on childhood obesity. I think more kids needs to turn off the tv and hit the soccer field for some fun exercise! Anything active and fun, sign me up!
I enjoy it. I like getting to know the other moms and being involved. I liked making healthy snacks for the kids at halftime and a little treat for after.
Even though she says she doesn’t want to play, she hasn’t played since the fall. A lot changes in a couple months, especially when you are 3. One day they LOVE peas, the next day is eww I hate them. She might LOVE soccer this spring.
I think team sports teach some great life lessons. Passing the ball teaches sharing, cheering for her teammates teaches her to be supportive, high fiving the other team teaches good sportsmanship, etc. I think it shows her life is not all about her and that’s ok and still fun. 3 year olds seem to think the world revolves around them and I like that being part of a team lets them be a part of something bigger.
Her entire team from last season is going to be together again this season.
Why I don’t want her to play:
I don’t want it to seem like I am making her play. I want it to be something fun for her, not a chore.
It is a lot. Two practices a week and games on Saturdays (and sometimes sundays too).
We are already involved in a lot so its not like soccer is ALL we do. She also does a 1 hour gymnastics class once a week and a 1 hour story time 2-3 times a week. Maybe its too much for her?
In the end, I signed her up. Its $40 for the entire season. I figure we will try it out and see if she likes it better this spring. If not, we aren’t out too much money. Maybe we will just take it week by week. If we are having a particularly rough day and are too rushed, we can just skip practice. At least every once in a while. It is peewee soccer afterall. I told her now that she is a little older she will be able to kick the ball farther. That seemed to ignite a little fire in her. She said “yea I can, I am a much bigger girl now!”. If she still doesn’t like it this season, we will take a season off then revisit the idea.
I honestly can’t wait for the season to start back up. I loved being a part of organized sports when I was younger and its almost just as fun watching my daughter do it! I love that she wants to run with me now and stay active so I want to encourage it in as many ways as possible! This is our race picture from November. I ran a 5 miler then a 1/2 mile kid sprint with Alyssa. It was SO much fun and not that it matters, but she smoked it! My 3 year old ran 1/2 mile in under 5 minutes! Maybe she will get her own race page on the blog sometime since she’s begging me to run another race! :)
What do you think, should I let a 3 year old decide what activites she’s involved in or as the parent should I decide for her?