As many of you know, I enjoy sports. And I have encouraged my kids to participate in sports. I feel that sports provide a great opportunity for discipline, teamwork and sacrifice. But our cultural obsession with youth sports is spinning out of control. It has come to demand a disproportionate amount of our time, energy and resources. I believe that we as parents can unintentionally teach a lot of unhealthy lessons to our kids in this arena.
- Our money is ours to spend on ourselves. It is not unusual for families to spend thousands of dollars per child per sport. You might have the money to spend. But God intends that we use our money for the good of others – not simply on ourselves.
- Gifted athletes are deserving of inordinate time, attention and money. We might consider ourselves good parents because we sign up for advanced training, buy the most expensive equipment, attend every game, and wash the uniform daily and fold it at their door. However, recent studies have indicated that parents who overvalue their children contribute to increased rates of narcissism in their children. If children think that the world revolves around them, they are in for a rude awakening when they face relationships and work responsibilities in the real world.
- Sports is more important than church. When you drive your kids all over the country multiple weekends, don’t be surprised when the church isn’t that important to them as they grow older.
- It is OK to be rude, angry and demeaning toward authority. I attend a lot of high school basketball games and I am shocked by the verbal tirades that parents direct toward coaches and officials. Many parents are teaching their kids how to rebel against God-appointed authority.
Photo credit: https://pixabay.com/en/football-youth-football-1085783/