We are a sports family. Sure we’ll love our kids if they choose not to play sports, but you better believe we will exhaust every sports opportunity there is before accepting that. My husband and I played basketball, among other sports, and hope our children find a niche on a sports team as they grow.
When our local community center offered a sports introduction class for 2-4 year olds, I almost became giddy! Most of the classes previously offered have been dance related. While I have heard of the benefits of dance for athletes, it would have been a hard fought battle to get my husband to sign off on enrolling my son in dance. D was enrolled and we packed up the car last week for his first of ten classes.
My husband had the day off. We decided to have pancakes. We were LATE. We walked into a small room with 10 kids and at least one parent/guardian present. My son became a Bump on a Log. He didn’t move. He didn’t participate. He clung to my legs. This isn’t like my son, especially when sports are involved.
After chatting with several of the parents, we tried a few things differently this week. And IT WORKED. Self admitted, this is only the second week and I am no expert but here you go… just in case your little one needs to get off that log in class this week.
- Be Early. Forgo the pancakes. Get to class 10 minutes early and help the coach set up. Better yet, beat the coach there and allow your kiddo to run around the room like a crazy person for a few minutes.
- Introduce your child to another kid. Last week when things were going so badly, I looked around the room at the kids standing out (in a good way). I found a boy that looked around my son’s age who was participating well. I asked the boy’s dad if we could introduce the kids after class. This week, my son knew another kid and it helped.
- Provide incentives. Even in the anguish of last week’s class, D enjoyed getting a stamp after class. He enjoyed going to the playground after class. You know it… I really talked up that stamp and playground visit after good participation this week.
- Talk about it. Yeah, pretty self explanatory but we discussed it. I asked him what happened after last week’s class. Then we didn’t mention the negative parts again. Last night and this morning, we really harped on all the positives of class (stamp, new friends, sports, running, throwing balls, etc.)