While out for one of my many walks, this time the destination being the local park, I noticed a few things; A few kids playing basketball and a father/son playing soccer. I like to think of myself as a keen observer, so let me explain what I really saw.
Kids playing basketball is nothing out of the ordinary, but there was only 6-7 kids. Let me tell you, this is something of a rarity these days. Kids playing out in the park or streets are just at an all time low, and this will be another topic when the time is right. The father playing soccer with his son in a park really sounds nice, doesn’t it? I had to glance a second time to realize they weren’t playing though. It was a son doing soccer drills, and for me there are two ways we can look at this.
Let me start with the positive. A father helping his son develop skills for a sport he possibly enjoys playing. Perhaps this father never had an opportunity and wants his child to have what he didn’t. Chances are he is pushing his son to be better and achieve a goal. More importantly, the father is keeping his son active and as I said, active kids are at an all time low!
Now I can look at the negatives. I overheard the father giving instructions, saying “left” and “right” at which point the son would use whichever foot was called out, all the while standing there like a drill sergeant. Is this father forcing his son, which I should add looks no more than 10 years old, to do this? There could be an argument about having his son do what he couldn’t, but does the child really want to be doing this? Most importantly, is this about having quality time with your child and having fun?
I didn’t stick around long enough to see what was next, but I am at a cross roads about my feelings towards this. Can I really know what the situation is? Who am I to decide what is best for the child? I can say this though, kids are meant to be kids and that means free. They have ideas and energy. Parents are the protectors and leaders. They have wisdom and use it as best as they can. Let us all hope things like this are in the best interest for both parent and child involved.