As a dad we set examples, these examples include behaviour and attitude and how we deal with stress
One thing we do for our children is set an example about sport. How we see it and our approach to it influences and affects our children. This could be as simple as them supporting Chelsea….. but hopefully most children grow out of this when they get to a decent age (other clubs are available).
More importantly the sport we are actively involved in or take an interest in influences our children and their attitude towards the sport. If they are used to going out on Sundays playing football, rugby, cricket or tennis, these behaviours can get copied and can become lifelong habits in our children.
They can have an adverse effect, your child may choose to rebel in their teenage years against the sports that we as parents pursue, and they may see it as a way of asserting their own independence. My own children have tried various sports, they have tried my favourite sport- judo. My eldest prefers to climb or fence whereas my youngest is doing judo and rugby along with a couple of other sports.
Well let’s look at this from another respect, What examples do we as adults as fathers set in terms of sports we play? I often hear stories of, “I gave up football when I got married” or, “having kids put an end to me playing cricket or rugby”. Now I appreciate that with young children the call on our time as new fathers is hard, but as they get older, should we forgo our own sports and leisure activities? Or as our children get older, do we get involved in their sports discovering new activities and justifying it as doing a sport with the children?
I say this because one of the biggest growth areas in sport is Masters Competitive Sport for over 30s. I compete nationally and internationally by the way of judo and Brazilian jujitsu at a masters level or as others like to say the older athletes. Many people come back to sport and want to compete but understand the toll it takes on an older body, in fact in some sports- watching older athletes is about seeing years of experience come in to play, be it in golf, fencing or judo.
Competitive sport as we get older I feel is important, both for use as dads and men allowing us to still show that we can compete and have a go. Seeing us set an interesting example, be it training, having fun, meeting new people, winning and losing also sets up an important lesson for our children for life.
Just because you’re older, doesn’t mean you can’t compete just because you’re over 40. It doesn’t mean you can’t go be an international athlete, I took up Brazilian jiu-jitsu 12 months ago and I have won a number of national titles for my age and weight and will be competing in the Europeans championship in January… okay their aren’t hundreds of men in my weight and age group, but that isn’t the point, the fact that there is competition at this level is something to talk about. I have been trying to convince my partner a weekend in Las Vegas to compete in the BJJ Masters World Championship in September is a good idea- but the idea isn’t flying at the moment!
Having a child see the discipline that goes along with that the management of lifestyle sacrifices and also the enjoyment and the pleasure and rewards of training hard is a lesson in itself. If you want your children to be active- set an example. Don’t think because you have hit 30 you can’t compete or take up something new.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the blogger and do not necessarily represent the views of Dad.info.