When we signed our 5 year old up for fall soccer, we had 3 goals in mind, that he would participate, have fun and enjoy himself. We thought we'd hit a home run when at the first practice he was smiling, running around with the other kids and having a good time.
Then it all went down hill from there. At the second practice, he barely participated, complained, laid on the ground, rolled in the grass. And by the second game, he was crying on the sidelines, and throwing full temper tantrums, on the field.
Yes. On the field.
After the game, when we asked him why he was so unhappy, he expressed, "I hate soccer. I want to play baseball." So what do you do when you sign your five year old up for something, he hates it and wants to quit.
Do you make him stay in the game? And attend games and practices hoping at some point he'll participate? Or do you call it quits?
We had no idea what to do. My husband and I are very competitive and we didn't want George to give up, but we also didn't want to force him to do something he didn't enjoy, after all, he's still just five. And making a five year old do anything they ultimately don't want to do, usually adds up in nothing but unwanted stress for him, and us.
So we let him stop playing soccer.
I should have taken the hint when I asked him if he wanted to play soccer and he said No. If he were older and he begged me to participate we would have made him stick it out. But at this age, all he really has to do, is be good and stay happy right?
So because she was old enough and begging to play in the first place, my 3 1/2 year old daughter took his place. She ran around, participated and smiled.
And my son, was on the sidelines, playing in the dirt, running around with the other kids and playing with his cars.
The happiest I'd ever seen him at a soccer game. That was all we wanted anyway.
And when I ask him if he is sad he doesn't play soccer any more. He explains, "No. I'll never play soccer. I don't like soccer. I want to play baseball."
Daddy's little boy.