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OnSugar Blog: Do You Wish Your Child Was an Olympian?

Lots of moms think out loud, and doccarrie does too. Do You Wish Your Child Was an Olympian? comes from the Doctor Mom blog at OnSugar.
I love the Olympics. I watch the personal stories and I am riveted.  The  excitement of competition never gets old. I feel proud of our athletes and country. I even cried today at this commercial. I've been thinking about the reasons that we as mothers do what we feel compelled to do for our children. We start them in school at 18 months.  Make sure they have swimming lessons.  And gymnastics.  And soccer.  And tennis.  Even if they don't feel like going. We agonize about our decisions and then wonder and worry about the effects of our choices.   Is it just a form of torture?

Why do we (or maybe just me) feel the need to push them?  Is it so they can start early in the competition of life?  Is it to build confidence and social skills?  Is it so we can live vicariously through them and give them every privilege which we didn't have?  Is it to make sure that they don't feel "left behind"? Do you ever dream (okay, secretly) that your child excels in a sport and will be an olympian?  (PS my daughter was placed in ADVANCED 3 year old gymnastics and I imagined this.) Is that the goal?  Is anything short of that failure?

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starbucks2 starbucks2 7 years
Yeah, Amanda, it got better over time but if I overdo the running I really feel them. It's like bone on bone. I loved doing ballet though and I kinda hope she will love dance as much as I did, but maybe only once a week would be enough.
amandachalynn amandachalynn 7 years
Star, your knees are messed up from ballet? For me it's my ankle. Funny how many ex ballerinas have long term injuries. I'll never let my kids do ballet. If my son were older, and he really loved his sport, I'd support him, and be proud he was doing what he loves. However, school comes first, training second. Kids under high school age shouldn't have that stress, and I too think that unstructured playtime is important.
starbucks2 starbucks2 7 years
Once again, I couldn't agree more with you MissSushi (I always seem to do). I want her to pick a sport and hopefully learn to play an instrument. I won't let her drop the activities after a really short period, because I think you need to stick to things but if she really hates going, I won't make her. We should go back to letting kids be kids. Unplanned playtime is actually more important then you'd think. They learn to entertain themselves and figure things out on their own. It might seem disorganized and maybe even waste of time for adults, but it is so important for them. Kids should not be stressed out by their schedule. So, no. Never would I want my kid to become an Olympian. So much time is devoted that important things fall short. A lot of sports are also not very healthy when done professionally (ask my knees that are totally messed up from ballett).
MissSushi MissSushi 7 years
I never wanted to fall into that sort of thing. Where the kids have every second of their time wrapped up in one event or another. Every second they aren't at school is designated to some sort of scheduled activity.. it's not for me. My kids will get to pick one activity if they want, though they don't have to, and that will be it. If they don't like it, they can drop it but i wont be playing musical activities. I think kids really need unstructured free time to use their imaginations and do whatever they want, within reason. aka not for 6 hours of video games.
TammyO TammyO 7 years
One of my children has autism, so I'll just be tickled pink that she will be able to get through kindergarten and make at least one good friend, never mind being an Olympian.
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