My Child Doesn’t Like Soccer: What Should I Do?
When kids don't like soccer, they may be having trouble at school. To make this situation better, it's important for parents and teachers to have good attitudes.
Before panicking thinking, “my child doesn’t like soccer,” ask yourself what things he or she does like. Not all children really love sports and physical activities. It’s important to find out if it’s about sports in general or specifically soccer.
If your child doesn’t like soccer, maybe he or she likes a different sport like swimming, basketball, tennis or baseball. The important thing is that your child regularly does some kind of physical activity. Sports help keep kids healthy and happy, even young ones.
It’s a culturally accepted idea that kids must play soccer or some other sport. Nowadays, it’s less and less common for kids not to play sports.
Generally, parents are afraid to tell their children what makes them different from other kids. In most cases, parents approach this issue indirectly by encouraging them to try other sports.
If you force your child to play sports that he doesn’t like, he won’t play very well. Children should try to find out what they like on their own. However, they might face difficult social, academic, recreational and family environments.
School without playing soccer
If your child doesn’t like soccer or any other sport, it could be difficult to go to school every day. He might feel isolated and depressed. Unfortunately, he might even be bullied by his classmates. This will affect his personality, behavior, and school performance.
Everyone needs to feel included and feel like they belong to a group or community. This is especially important for children. Therefore, having friends at school who share the same interests and activities will help them socialize and learn to adapt.
Surely, there will be other children who share his interests. He can play with them and spend time together at recess.
Teachers have a very important role in promoting games and activities other than soccer at school. Basically, it’s a smart way to help kids socialize. Additionally, they can put aside their differences by playing together.
“If your child doesn’t like soccer, maybe he likes a different sport like swimming, basketball, tennis, or baseball.”
What to do if your child doesn’t like soccer
Here are some tips to help your child who doesn’t like soccer:
- Don’t force, question or criticize him.
- Find out if his dislike is because of these things: not understanding how to play, not knowing the basic rules, or thinking it’s boring.
- Help him work through a bad experience in the past where he felt stressed or pressured.
- Tell him that not all kids have the same skills. Everyone has different tastes, preferences and abilities. Some are fast, some are strong, and some have great aim.
- Help him discover his own physical abilities. Maybe your child doesn’t like team sports and prefers individual sports. It’s up to the parents to help him figure that out.
- Swimming, scuba diving, running, skating, gymnastics, golf, tennis, and martial arts are all individual sports that will keep you active.
On the other hand, you have to remember that there are many activities your child can do to avoid a sedentary lifestyle and stay healthy. For example, playing on the playground, dancing, jumping, playing hide and seek, etc.
Then, you should tell him about activities he can do outside of school that aren’t soccer. This will let him develop skills beyond sports. There, your child will make new friends with similar interests, like music, painting or theater.
Advice for parents
Small children aren’t the only ones that feel pressure from not fitting into their environment. Older kids can feel it too. For them, it’s a good idea to:
- Don’t give in to pressure from other parents. Additionally, ignore their comments about how your son doesn’t like soccer.
- Recognize that it’s normal for some kids not to like soccer or other sports.
- Parents are responsible for helping their children with their self-esteem. Therefore, help your children be confident and teach children to respect themselves.
- Soccer is just a sport. Your child has lots of skills and abilities, and you have to help him discover them and develop them.
Finally, it’s a good idea to find an activity that you can all do together as a whole family. If your child has your support, it’ll be much easier for him to be his true self without any hesitation.