Thursday, April 29, 2010

Get Your Girls in Sports

The EveryDad has high hopes that the EveryDaughters will be interested in sports someday. I'm very happy that the EveryToddler knows well who the Dodgers and Lakers are, what golf is, and is mesmerized by watching girls soccer when it crops up on ESPN and other networks. When her attention span surpasses 10 minutes, it'll be time to take her to some live sporting events featuring men or women, but probably women.

I hope that the girls have lots of interests, but I'd like sports to be among them. And now I have some more ammunition to rationalize what might be a somewhat irrational desire of mine. Apparently, according to this study, playing a high school sport increases a young woman's odds of graduation by 41%. That's either a really strong correlation indicative of an already motivated young woman or there might be a causal relationship there.

The study's authors do control for other factors including parents' income level and education, school quality by other metrics, etc., so at least there's that. They also postulate the increased discipline that sports require bleeds into academics, to stay nothing of the incentive to stay academically eligible. They further cite this as justification for preserving and promoting sports when faced with the need to cut extra-curriculars from the budget.

The EveryMom and I aren't sure how to "help" our kids get into one activity over the other, and I'm sure we'll have some rough spots with piano lessons, practices, or whatever, but we both really valued our sports experience and others. Anyone out there have any ideas about how to encourage our kids in one direction or the other?

1 comment:

  1. I've heard from lots of parents who regret (I'm included) not being forced to finish piano lessons and practicing. We hate it at the time, but regret now, not being able to play as good as we wish we could. And some of these parents now are forcing their kids to do it. Sounds harsh, but I think it's good, especially if the kid has some natural talent anyway.
    As far as sports, just put them in any and all that you can afford. The kids will figure out what they like, or not, and as they develop more, their talents will come out too. Like Jared right now played soccer 4 years ago, we did karate, he's done, now he wants to play again. Now I don't remember that he liked it all that much then, but that could be cuz of his immaturity level, and now he's ready to take it on again. So we'll do that. He wanted to play tennis, so we did that. He wants to do volleyball, and I think his middle school does it, so he'll be able to try it there. Ryan wants to continue karate so there's that. Just give them a variety so they can know different things, and definitely don't count something out that they don't like when they're little-little cuz they might like it or want to go back to it when they're older