This morning I discovered my third daughter cutting her hair with a pair of scissors, again. My nights are full of wake ups, feeds and changes. So yeah, I’m in the trenches with you. What that means is that the last thing I want to do is tell you another thing that you’re doing wrong. I know it feels almost impossible in this world to feel like you’re doing enough.
So instead, I’m going to ask you to do less. And the upside of you doing less? Well, it might just keep your kids playing sport. We are so lucky in this county to have such enthusiastic parents signing their children up to sports like soccer, tennis, netball, basketball. In fact, by the age of 12, 70 per cent of Aussie kids are playing sport. As someone, for which sport has played a huge part in my life, this makes me endlessly happy.
Watch: The 6 Types of Sports Parents. Post continues after video.
It is so wonderful for their mental health. For meeting kids outside of schools, it also gives them a break from screens (it’s pretty difficult to play basketball whilst holding a Nintendo Switch).
But then something starts to happen. Our sport loving tweens turn into teens who are dropping out faster than you can say, “But I’ve just paid the registration fees”.
This is actually a stage of their life where kids can benefit from sport. It's a time where they deal with more stress at school, more screen time and are navigating tricky friendship issues. To step away at this moment is to step away from one of the best public health initiatives we have. And the behaviour of parents on the sidelines of sport is one of the main reasons kids are stepping away.