IT can be one of the most devastating things that can happen to a parent; the realisation that one or more of their kids has an interest in playing football with the local side, or taking part in athletics or kickboxing or GAA. For a parent, their whole world can come crashing down the moment their child turns to them and tells them that they would like to start training with their friends every Saturday morning.
No more lie-ins, no more getting good and fucked up on a Friday, safe in the knowledge that Saturday morning is free for hangover time… there’s a lot to deal with when kids start playing sports, so here’s a few tips to help you through:
1) It’s nobody’s fault
It is human instinct to look for someone to blame when a child takes interest in sport. Some parents blame themselves, and some even harbour feelings of anger towards their child. In actual fact, there’s nobody to blame. This is just something that happens to families, it cannot be predicted nor prevented. It’s best just to come to terms with it and move on.
2) Seek help from friends and family
Tight-knit families with a good network of friends cope the best when there’s a child in the house who wakes up one morning and thinks he’s fucking Messi or something. Having the ability to call on a neighbour and say ‘hey, I’m hungover to bits this morning, can you take Pippa to camogie?’ will prove invaluable over the coming years. Calling in the child’s godparents to come take them to training or attend shitty little 5-a-side mini-leagues on Bank Holiday weekends will also help take the sting out of you being the only person put out by all this. Share the misery.
3) Encourage the child to just quit
Through time, the child may decide to stop going to training because it’s boring, or because they’re shit and they don’t want to try any harder. It’s up to parents to get their kids to this point as quickly as they can. Sow seeds of doubt in your child’s mind; “it’s okay son, you did you best, sure what does it matter that your best is nowhere near good enough?’- this is the only way you will be able to get your kid to stay at home and play Xbox all day at the weekend, leaving you free to enjoy yourself, Jesus Christ you don’t ask for much like, one day in the week. that’s all, one day in the God damn week. Fuck, like.