He screams ' Focus ... Focus'. The only response he gets is a blank look. 'Attack the ball... come on Attack'. And there is no reaction. Its probably because the 5 year old just doesn't get the meaning of 'focus' and does not understand why he needs to attack the soccer ball.
The situation above is at the soccer game of my 5 year old. Soccer at 5 should be balance of fun and sportsmanship. Yes learning to win is important but its not everything.
We ( DH and I ) have been watching parents around the soccer field like kids go to see animals at a zoo. Apologies for that comparison. But when you scream at a 5 year old because he doesn't score a goal .. I feel no other comparison fit. I wonder when a father screams at his child to 'focus' does it reflect in anyway on his own struggles. I jokingly told my husband that ' Its probably what his manager tells him.' I wonder whether we just push our children to do the things we were not able to do.
Encouragement: Believe me I am not against encouraging some good skills set and it is definitely hard to motivate a 5 year old. My little boy does not seem to interested in soccer. Yet we are there week after week because we believe he needs the the physical activity. But listening to the other parents scream we have begun to wonder whether this is a good place to get any kind of exposure other than unhealthy competition. We are Homeschoolers ...so competition has been long thrown out. We believe that there is only one person you need to compete with and that is yourself. Strive to be better than who you were yesterday. In the case of a 5 year old his goal should read something like this ' You could not tie your shoe lace yesterday ... well lets try again today.'
Weaklings: Another incident that happened simultaneously on the soccer field was a few mothers walk onto the soccer field and demand that their 5 year olds be moved up to a more senior batch. After all who wants to play with 'Kaccha limbus'. The kids were all listening intently as the coach tried reasoning out with two women who probably never played a sport in their life. They had to be told about how there were skills sets that came with development and development came with age. I think the moral the kids learnt was 'Please do not waste your time with those who are any lesser than you'. The end result of this upgrade was the two boys who normally do really well struggled to hit the ball against boys much older than them.
We already live in a world that lacks compassion. We think the weaker person is to be walked over and thrown away. Why else would 6 years olds be getting raped? We are raising our children to do just about anything to get their way and move ahead. Even if it means asking mom to speak to the coach or pushing over just about any child that cannot make the cut. We need compassion. Not aggression.
Healthy competition: And we do it all in the name of healthy competition. DH and I are very competitive. We have made the best of all that came in our life. But there is something called a sore loser and I feel by pushing our kids and screaming at them when they play games we are telling them that there is no good in losing. The sports field is the best place to teach a child the values of life such as failure is not the end or life! Do not quit! Run like you have never run before! Enjoy the game! We dont raise kids to be successful when we push them - we just make them sore losers. I have even seen the kids do pelvic thrust when they score a goal or lip sync foul language when they dont.
Reaction of the world: With the world cup just over and the amount of jokes on the Indian team and their girlfriends, it seems rather important to realize that we have all stopped enjoying the game for what it is. We enjoy it because we win. When we lose we are sore losers. These jokes come from people who probably never even picked up a cricket bat. On Sunday they only thing my DH said was - 'I hope New Zealand wins - They have sportsmanship.' The sad part is we train our children to be poor sportsman beginning at ages as young as 5 years old.
We talk often about the environment and saving the tiger so our children may enjoy seeing this animal. But are were saving our children and raising them to appreciate the environment and the tiger. Or are we just raising them to be aggressive and competitive adults. The famous saying is
'We talk about leaving a better earth for our children. But are we leaving better children for our earth?