How sport made me (and my kid) more resilient.

Jo with her son Phillip





I dropped my son off at soccer training in the rain, watching my phone carefully for the text that I knew was only seconds away that would announce that soccer training was cancelled because of the weather. I don’t know everything about this parenting gig, but I have always believed that cold kids quickly equal sick kids.

Having just lived through two weeks of hideous flu, I was reluctant to risk my son getting sick again. I wanted to re-enter the real world and that meant staying healthy.

I drove off slowly at first. That text should be coming though any second now. Any second…

But the text never came.

I picked up my soaked son and wrapped him in a towel while turning the heat up in the car. To my surprise, he happily chatted away and didn’t seem to mind that he was cold and wet. In fact, he was pretty happy that he got to train in the rain. He knows I wouldn’t normally let him go outside in the wet and that I usually call him in when just a few drops start.

But he didn’t get sick and I was absolutely gobsmacked. All my anger at our team manager and coach for not cancelling training that night started to settle and I was incredibly happy I hadn’t sent the ranty emails I had been planning to send when Philip woke up sick again.

Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Nestlé. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words. 

Because it’s not the first time my children’s sporting activities have shown me just how resilient kids can be. And I was quite proud of the progress I had made since he started soccer in kindy five years ago.

Sporting activities have shown me how resilient kids can be.

I no longer raced onto the field if he fell over. I no longer carried my own first aid kit because I deemed the team kit inadequate. I no longer let him stay home from training or games. And I no longer brought a change of clothes so that he wouldn’t catch cold when his sweaty and damp clothes dried and chilled him.


Although, I do have a confession to make: my oldest son banned me from doing any of these things quite a while ago. “No way Mum,” is a common phrase when we are out in the world together. “Don’t Mum, just don’t,” is another one he uses when I try and sneak up on him with a dry shirt.

So here are the lessons I’ve learned from my kids as their resilience has grown through sport:

  • Wet kids DO NOT equal sick kids.
  • Philip actually enjoys training and playing in the rain. And when it starts to rain at home, he just runs right out to get a little wet catching raindrops on his tongue and having the time of his life.
  • And kids don’t want to be treated like they are fragile or made of glass. All my kids have been pushing back for a while now.

Okay kids, I’m listening – I’m really listening.

If they are sick or scared or sore or injured they’ll tell me. We don’t need to get an X-ray on his knee every time he does that thing where he slides along the grass on his knee while shooting the goal with his other leg outstretched.

Scratches don’t require stitches.

One or two sausage sandwiches after the game won’t kill him.

And he knows it. He’s known it for quite some time. It just took me a little while to catch up. I still carry some first aid supplies in my handbag, just in case, but I haven’t had to use them even once. Let’s just keep that between you and me.

I might also have to replace his Spiderman bandaids with proper, big boy ones.

“I’m not a baby anymore, Mum.”

“I know Philip, I know.”

Are you a bit of a worry wart when it comes to your kids?

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