Do you feel a child should be made to do a sport if they do not like it?

Tanya - posted on 01/30/2010 ( 34 moms have responded )

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My child is 10yrs old girl does not want o do Tae Kwon Do, She wants to swim and cheerleading. A black belt takes 1-3yrs I feel she should be able to try diffrent thing so she can see what she likes. What do you think?

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Kathryn - posted on 02/02/2010

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I think that forcing a kid to take classes they aren't interested in only teaches them that you don't care about their feelings. If they have things they want to do, then let them do that, but also make sure that they learn the lesson of following through, especially on team sports. if a kid signs up for the team, then the coach/teacher depends on that kid to be there. If the kid decides they don't wanna because their team isn't winning or it's too hard, they still have to realize that they made a commitment, and they should see it through until the end of the season.

Don't sign them up for anything that has a required commitment of more than a few months though, because if your child is trying it out for the first time, and they find they don't like it, you don't want to be stuck for a long time...

Gillian - posted on 02/02/2010

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I agree with JUDY... If she asked to join, and the season or lessons have started, then she should "honor her commitment." Especially if its a team sport! To let her quit half way through, would be giving her permission to give up. Tell her, "When this season/session is over, its your choice if you want to sign up again. Until then, you have made a promise to the coach and your teammates to be there. You have to finish the season."

Then, like you said, ask her. If she says no to soccer, swimming, whatever... thats her choice. (And it SUCKS when you see potential...) But if she doesn't like it, it isn't fun to her. Let her try something else.

My boys understand they have to "DO SOMETHING." Its their choice. Boy Scouts, wrestling, football, baseball, guitar lessons, choir, something... One thing that has been proven is that... "Kids that stay busy, stay out of trouble."

Stacey - posted on 01/31/2010

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I have been through this with my daughter. She was a wrestler and had done it for a few years, was very talented and won many tournmnaments and titles. Then one day she just wanted to quit, I refused to let her quit that season, I made her see it through. I also coach wrestling at the youth level, and speaking from a coaches stand point, I realized that it is very hard to have a child involved in your program that really doesn't want to be there. It hinders the other children that are there because they want to be. So, I have told parents as much as you want your child to do something, sometimes it just isn't for them, and you are better off to let your child find their passion. My daughter has been in wrestling, basketball, baseball, softball cheerleading and now dance. I think that at a young age it is important for them to try a variety of activities to find what suits them. But, it is also important to talk with your child to find out why they want to quit something, that was where my problem with my daughter quitting wrestling came in, she was VERY good, had just placed 3rd at the girls nationals, and then boom I don't want to do this anymore. Come to find out it was because of peer pressure, and other girls picking on her that girls were'nt supposed to wrestle, and she was struggling to fit in at her new school. I hated to see her quit because of that, I wanted her to know that she shouldn't quit something she loves just because others say she shouldn't do it. But, it was effecting her so much socailly and her self worth that at the end of the season I told her she could be done if that was what she wanted. And as I said she has since dabbled in alot of different things, trying to find her thing, and now with dance she has found her "home"....so my opinion, let your daughter try new things, she will get more out of doing something she enjoys and wants to do than she will something she is forced in to. Good Luck.

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Chet - posted on 07/16/2013

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Our oldest wanted to quit dance two months before the recital and I told her no way. You signed up for this and your a part of the show. Other people are depending on you. I also think that some activities are life skills too, and it may be reasonable to insist a child participate until they reach a certain level - swimming for safety reasons, or learning a second language if most of your extended family speaks that language and you travel to that part of the world often.

Chet - posted on 07/16/2013

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I know a mom who tells her kids you must be in at least one structured activity, and once I pay for it you do it for the whole year. I have always liked this approach. It says to your kids, think carefully about what you choose because once you make a commitment you stand by it. It's not forever though. You can pick something new every year if you want!

Andrea - posted on 06/19/2013

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I think you should only force a child to do something if they want to quit because their lazy

Cheryl - posted on 05/08/2013

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My son (16m) plays tennis and loves it. My husband wanted to force him to play football and I did not support forcing him to play. There are so many things in life that we have to do, I just don't see the point in making someone play a sport that he/she is not interested in.

Madison - posted on 02/03/2013

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I forced my daugter to do cheer and paegants for six years
.. she wanted to play sports and so I let her play soccer and now she plays for ODP

Donna - posted on 12/13/2011

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My sons 13 and a 2 degree black belt he's not intreated in doing tkd anymore he's bored we are in a contract 6 months left we have to make him go don't know what to do he's very good .

Quyen - posted on 08/12/2011

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It seriously depends on the age. I know this questions is almost a year and a half, but I felt I needed to approach it in a perspective that would show the many benefits it provides. Having your son or daugther do something which they don't like is really up in the air. What's to say that they feel like not going to school anymore at the age of 11? We know that its good for them, but yet we make them do it. We have given many of the children today many or too many options they can't even decide what to do with their future. It's always a better thing to have tried something and go through with it without having to go through with it in a life time. Almost anything, NOT everything is worth going through once. She can tell you after that year she is with taekwondo, that its not for her. But, as the previous person said, there are many schools out there that has offered free trial classes and it has given an opportunity for others to experience it in a small period of time. And doing so, either it has changed their lives or not. The decision and ultimatum is up to you as the parents (teacher/life coach), and your child. I do hope she does try taekwondo, it has changed many peoples lives.

Alison - posted on 02/05/2010

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You could ask her to try it for a limited amount of time with the provision that she doesn't have to continue if she doens't like it. If she still refuses...I wouldn't push that particular thing. I insist my son take swimming but we have a cabin so for safety sake...he will learn swimming...

Jeannine - posted on 02/05/2010

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I wouldn't make my child do a sport unless they chose to. They like what they like and that should be their choice.

Shelly - posted on 02/05/2010

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Both of my kids took Tae kwon do for 4 years, it was a good experiance for both and she ( your daughter) should be able to experiance other things, but what is her true feeling about Tae kwon do? My daughter was lazy and didn't want to do it and my son really didn't like the fact he hurt other boys.....We decided after they recieved the black belt they could quit..If her heart isn't in it you need to think hard about it...If she is just being lazy, I would make her continue...We were apart of a traveling school and were able to do the Jr Olympics and it was wonderful and also very expensive, but we did it for our children. My children are both on you tube and that still did not want to keep them in it. It was also good for us because both of my kids can defend themselves espically my daughter and that is a great feeling..She will never be a victim..

Glory - posted on 02/05/2010

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I think you should listen to your daughter and go with the flow..don't make her do something she does not want to do...I have five children(21m,19f,11f,10m,and a 7m.)
My oldest son grabbed a guitar and never let it go,,,,he plays beautiful music....my 11 year old daughter loves to dance,,,my 10 year old son from the moment he was born always walked around holding a ball, he loves to play football and baseball, and my 7 year old son loves music just like his big brother,,,he has an electric guitar...so what I am trying to say some kids are born with a gift, and we just have to encourage them do what ever they want...she might surprise you...My husband always loved fast cars and motorcycles...I want nothing to do with them..but guess what?? Allmy three little ones love cars, bikes, daddy does construction so they love fixing things....All three of them have their own bikes, mydaughter (11) has her own racebike, my son (10) has a real Jap bike and my son(7) has a dirt bike.....They don't ride on the street, this is a sport where they go to a track with full gear.....oh and before I forget they all have their own tool box.....which they actualy use..is so funny..lol I never knew I would have kids with this type of interest but I did, and for now I just go with the flow and let them do the things that they love ...as long as they are good kids, respectful, and good grades I enjoy watching them do the things they love...

Patrizia - posted on 02/05/2010

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i dont agree with forcing kids to do a sport that they are not interested in. if they are allowed to participate in something that they are interested in then they will show more enthusiasum, they will try harder,stick to it and enjoy what they are doing. in the long run everyone will be much happier for it.

Heather - posted on 02/05/2010

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Never force your child to do what interest you. They will never relly put their heart and soul into it because they aer not doing it for themselves but for you. Then you are just wasting money and everyones time including they people you are paying to instruct them. Instructors rather teach those who want to learn it makes for a much more productive class.

Diane - posted on 02/04/2010

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If she doesn't want to do Tae Kwon Do, you'll have a real battle to get her there and is that really worth the hassle? As swimming and cheerleading are physical activites, she isn't losing anything by changing her mind. And if she ends up really loving them, you've found something she'll get pleasure out of for years

Kristi - posted on 02/03/2010

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In my opinion...ABSOLUTELY NOT!...I think children will excel and do better in a sport or at whatever they choose, not something that is chosen for them.. Some kids just arent sports oriented...I know I wasnt and I turned out ok. I always told my kids, I will always support you in anything you choose to do...within reason......of course!!!

Colleen - posted on 02/03/2010

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No because they will not excell in that sport. Let the child enjoy the sport. do not force them into a sport they not like or into a sport that you want to relive you will pay the price emotionally and so will they believe me.
Let her swim it is a good sport and will define who she is meant to be soon er or later.Sports isn't everything it's who you are inside first. She's trying out sports swimming and cheerleading are good. I personally love swimming even though I did not excel at it myself.
Tell her though once she starts swimming she must finish the season no matter how hard it gets. this will be a life lesson once you start you must not quit. We must not teach our children to quit because they have teammates who depend on them for the season.
It kind of sounds like I've been here hah. One more thing. If you are a christian have your child watch Facing The Giants even if your not I think your like it anyways.
Good luck with your daughter.

Kristina - posted on 02/02/2010

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Have her watch a couple of classes then have her give it a try if she doesn't like it don't force her to do it, getting a black belt is a big commitment(it can take more then 3 years to get a black belt it depends on how often classes are taken and on the person). I think swimming is a great sport and cheer leading isn't to bad. The only time I have told my daughter she would have to finish something long term was when she got ready to test for her Tae Kwon Do belt that was the have way point to black. I thankfully got lucky and it has been her goal for a while.

Abigail - posted on 02/02/2010

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No..as a mother of a 12 yr old girl..i have never forced my daughter to do something she doesnt like just because I want it..I remember when I was a child myself..i never want my mom to decide for me so she let me decide on something she suggested I should do..i know how it feels to be forced on something you don't like so i dont do it to my child..

Suzan - posted on 02/02/2010

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Why would you push a child into any sport? Three years of making them hate every minute to get a black belt? What does that teach them? It's about variety and activity at this age - not establishing a career. I see absolutely nothing wrong with cheerleading and swimming - both are healthy and active and one involves team play. At this age variety is the spice - let her specialize later. If she does try out something that's a one year program then have her finish the year before trying something else so that she realizes you can't just 'flit' from activity to activity and quit immediately when you decide you don't like it. My daughter went from ballet to horseback riding and has found her forte!

Caroline - posted on 02/02/2010

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I think if she wants to do swimming and cheerleading then you should let her because if you try and get her to do something she doesn't like she won't want to go and it will be a waste of money because she won't make the effort when she is there.
Both the other sports will be very good exercise for her, exercise should be fun not something you are falsed into you don't want her to hate exercise.
Like Sandy said let her do a trial and see if she likes it you never know she might enjoy it

Michelle - posted on 02/02/2010

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I never made my kids do something they didn't like. As long as she is getting exercise that's the main goal. If she's loves it that much, then she'll be happy and do her best. If you make her participate in something she does't like, you are setting her up for frustration and failure and yourself for arguments. MKW.

Jennifer - posted on 02/02/2010

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I have an 11 year old daughter who at 10 was just like your daughter. I tried to get her involved in a "sport" ie softball, soccer, Tae Kwon Do but it was very clear she wanted nothing to do with "sports" she wanted cheerleader. I took that and ran with it... I got her involved in gymnastics and Cheerleading... and she loves it! If your daughter enjoys cheerleading keep her involved and include gymnastics and/ or move from rec swimming to team swims and take it to the next level; take her to a swim meet or cheer comp and let her see what its like at that level. (I konw that there is a cheer comp on the 13th of Feb at Saint Louis University and admission is free, I think.)

Julie - posted on 02/02/2010

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I wouldnt push the issue but encourage and support the sports she is interested in. However I also tell my kids that once they start something they have to finish it, they cant just quit mid term. This will teach them to follow through and finish instead of quitting when things get hard becuase we all know life isnt easy. Good Luck!

Janelle - posted on 02/01/2010

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I wouldn't push the issue. Most kids know what they want to do and what they don't want to do. when it comes to extracurricular activities, leave the choice to them. My daughter liked her lessons, but I couldn't afford to pay for the outfit or for her to have to go to meets just so she could move up the ranks. But we have another outlet for her to learn how to take care of herself. I usually ask my oldest nephew to show her a thing or two to protect herself when we get a chance to see him. If you want to introduce her to different things, maybe go through family friends to show her stuff and go from there. That's what I do. It's free and no way to lock into lessons the child doesn't want.

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I think take her for one lesson if she doesnt want to go back then dont make her. Theres no point forcing into hobbies they dont want to do your just wasting your time and money. She will probably get just as much exercise and more fun from doing swimming and cheerleading if thats what she wants to do. My son is a green belt in Tang Soo Do, hes been doing it for about 18 months and loves it but my other son tried it for a few months and gave up he went on to try archery and a few other things but now he just likes going to scouts. Ive always let them try anything once.

Judy - posted on 01/31/2010

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I feel that if a child asks to join something and signs up they should be made to stick it out until its over. I love the martial arts. My daughter Olivia got her black belt in kenpo karate when she was 10. Her second degree when she was 13

Heather - posted on 01/31/2010

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personally, i do not agree with forcing a child into a sport or activity they do not like or show zero interest in. not only will they resent you for it in the long run, they will probably be less inclined to pay attention, which could result in injuring themselves or others. i know this doesn't apply to tae kwon do so much, but in team sports, the kids who are very into it will resent the kid who is taking valuable playing time and/or makes a costly error that loses the game. i've seen it time and time again with my son's competitive baseball teams...you can always spot the kids who eat, sleep, and breathe baseball versus the ones that are there because mom or dad wants them to play.

i think as long as she wants to be active in any sport, you're doing great! swimming is by far the best sport out there...my son does it during the baseball off season and i was in awe of the bodies of the full time swimmers when we were at the indoor pool! cheerleading these days requires a strong background in gymnastics and dance, both of which, again, are excellent for staying physicall fit.

if you're adamant about wanting her to try new things, check out the local YMCA, which offer a variety of sports and activities without a long term commitment or the competitive pressures. good luck!

Paula - posted on 01/31/2010

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i think that u should never push your child to do something that they don't want to do. why not try and ask ur child want are they want to do and then mybe try that for a while children get bored quickly so they will go thourgh a lot of thing in life before they find out what they want so take ur time and talk to the child

Kim - posted on 01/30/2010

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personally I don't, my son played football for a year and because we pushed him so hard he lost interest. She should definately try new things, it is so hard and scary to know what to do as a parent!

Sandy - posted on 01/30/2010

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Most Tae Kwon Do places will give you a free trial session (or 2) to see if you like it. That may be an option for you. That way, you're not locked into anything that she may hate. However, if she doesn't have any interest in doing it and you force the issue, you're just setting yourself up for a battle every time it's time to go. If she's interested in cheerleading and swim, both of which are great exercise, then I'd let her stick with what she's interested in. JMO.

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