Here are the top 5 reasons it is a terrible idea to let your kids watch the Olympics. (If I’m too late, I apologize. Maybe you can reason with them before actually showing up to the gymnastics class they have already begged you to sign them up for.)
In reverse order, we will begin with # 5. You are busy. I know how much is on your plate. And if your kids find any encouragement to get involved in a sport from watching the Olympians, they will surely add to your already long to-do list. What’s more, the drives to practice and meets will mean you’ll spend lots of time together. Who needs that?
#4. It’s expensive. Lessons, uniforms, equipment, out of town meets? All this adds up.
If they do insist, try to steer them toward table tennis…experts predict the cost to get your kindergartener to the Olympics in this sport will total $100,000. Ping pong being one of the more>cough<affordable sports.
Equestrian in your family? Gulp. Try $400,000. If you need more of a reality check, this MSN article has some more staggering statistics that’ll have your calculator buzzing and your paddle spinning. Another article, one in The Daily Beast, lists the foreclosures, the financial hardships and even how Olympian’s parents sold everything and moved to be near the best training facilities and coaches for their little athletes. For more astounding numbers, check out this blog “Team Mom.” Who ARE these people?
#3. It can be SO disappointing. For every medal awarded, heck for every athlete that qualifies for the Olympics, thousands of others did not. Do you want your child to be the one left in the wake of greats like Michael Phelps?
My children tried out for sports teams, and auditioned for community theater, and I can tell you, there were plenty of disappointments, lots of tears shed when the cast list or play roster was posted. And my kids were upset once in a while too.
Once, our daughter was cast in a role where she may or may not have been required to wear a bucket on her head. But we didn’t let her turn it down, no sir. It was painful to watch, especially when the other cast members teased her, and even shunned her from sleepovers and similarly important rights of passage. But we insisted she continue wearing the
bucket whimsical costume to the final curtain.
She learned an unforgettable lesson, and showed true character because in the very next show, she was cast as the lead. And I’ll never forget how she forgave the ones who’d teased her. Now that’s what a real leading lady acts like. Good sportsmanship can be learned anywhere.
Back to the Olympics. Do you think Jordyn regrets trying so hard?
But it looks so dang hard, Bev!
#2. The Variety is astounding, what if your child pick the wrong sport? Every year, the Olympic committee adds (and sometimes removes) sports.
I’ve had a heck of a time finding the curling competition. Anyone?
The 2012 Summer Olympics has 32 categories. From Archery to Wrestling. So if Jr. wants to try one and changes his mind…oh why bother? We all know how hard it is to get kids to stick with something.
Set up a system. For every season, let him try a new sport, until the end of the match season. Teach commitment… and then move on to something else, no harm no foul.
I grew up showing horses. Fell in love with them, dreamed, slept, ate, dressed and played horsey games. What a
nerd cute kid I was. Of course I dreamed of competing in the Olympics. Even rode with the Brits for a season, and earned a couple of levels in the British Horse Society. Go me.
I also tried my hand, er…fist at volleyball. Meh. Not my game. I was even invited to try out for the college basketball team when I got lost in the gym one day. Turns out being 5’8″ will get you a personal invitation, directionally challenged or not.
But always back to the horses. Would I have loved to compete at the Olympic level? For sure.
(You do realize that male and female equestrians compete at the same level, and average the oldest of all the athletes. There may still be time for me, yet! Hey, honey!? Do we have a spare half a million lying $ around?)
But if you’re still not convinced, here’s the top reason you should turn off the games.
Drum roll, please because the top reason to give back that game controller and shut off the Olympics?
#1. Your children will get a global sense of the world, hence, they may want to travel, and you will miss them. Have you seen the hugs and high fives players exchange around the floor, stadium, court, track…whatever? And they are from different countries?! These athletes are ambassadors, and their good sportsmanship (in most cases) demonstrate what it’s like to put aside our differences and experience humanity–face to face, ground level.
And I’ll bet you think the world can use a lot more of that.
OK, you convinced me. But don’t say I didn’t warn you!