This post is sponsored by P&G’s ‘Thank You Mom’ campaign.
My boys have a very natural affinity for all sports. Most days will find both of them in the front yard, rotating between tossing a football around, teeing off into our neighbor’s lawn, or playing handball against the garage wall. Getting them interested in sports is not something that required any effort or modeling on my behalf. With them, it’s a bigger struggle to get them to do quiet activities like drawing or reading.
My daughter India is more of a book-worm, and I’ve had to be more intentional (and a little creative) to get her interested in playing sports. I know that there are some moms who have strong opinions about the sports their children get involved with. I can remember having Jafta i
n tee-ball at age 5, and it was clear that some of those families had pre-determined before their child’s birth that their kid was gonna make a run for a professional baseball team. I don’t really care what sports my children choose. Mark played football in high school. I was a cheerleader and also played soccer.
I was never naturally athletic and my parents were more inclined to push performing arts over sports, so it’s really the influence of friends that landed me on a soccer team in high school. Still, I was never very competitive with it, and was as content sitting on the sidelines reading a book as I was being in the game. I don’t think that the concept of pushing my body physically was something I even understood until I was 34, and decided to sign up to run a half-marathon. It was eye-opening for me to experience the thrill of meeting goals, of pushing past physical limits, and of watching my body grow stronger.
I want that experience for my girls. I understand that, like me, their natural abilities may tend towards the arts, but I also want them to be active. India tried basketball last year and it wasn’t her thing. She did cheerleading this year and loved it. I think it improved her confidence and I’ve noticed her being a bit bolder and more willing to play with her brothers in physical ways. We are hoping to do some Tae Kwon Do and swimming this summer.
I know the joys of curling up with a good book, but I also want her to know the joy of pushing past physical limits, and I’m hoping with some gentle encouragement that can happen a bit earlier than her mid-30’s.
The P&G|Team USA Youth Sports Fund provides children around the country with access to sports. For every new “like” on the P&G ‘Thank You Mom’ Facebook page, the company will donate one dollar to the P&G|Team USA Youth Sports Fund, up to $100,000.