There’s no denying it—children’s sports have changed a ton over the last generation. Think about it—when you played high school baseball, basketball or tennis, did your parents devote the bulk of their free time to your sport? Probably not.
These days, however, it’s not uncommon for an entire family to devote much of their free time, including frequent overnight trips and weekends, to travel ball or club sports. In fact, it’s become fairly common for a parent’s entire social circle to revolve around their teen’s sport. This fairly new phenomenon comes with plenty of perks, but what about the downside?
When mom and dad enjoy the social aspect of their teen’s sport it can be tempting to encourage them to keep playing even after their interest has waned. If your teen confides in you that they are no longer enjoying the sport, need more time for their school work, or want to try something else with their free time, be sure to hear them out. If you feel inclined to talk them into staying with it, take a sincere look at your motivations.
Fear of missing out
Teenagers aren’t the only ones who are susceptible to peer pressure. Sometimes parents can get a little too wrapped up in the idea of keeping up and feeling that their family has to be a part of what it seems like everyone else is doing.
When your teen gets cut, of course your biggest concern will be your teen’s disappointment and heartbreak. But when your weekends have been trips with the same group of families weekend after weekend, it can be a difficult adjustment for the whole family, including mom and dad! Remember to keep perspective, and as you encourage your teen to try new things make sure you are taking the time to do the same.
If you’ve spent the past few years being the football mom or the softball dad, it can be hard to let that go. But maybe it’s all just a necessary (if painful) part of a bigger “letting go” as your teen prepares to leave for college.