The Parent Trip: Soccer

By Shelby Cain


Several months ago I wrote a column on my opinion of activities for young kids.  It was about how I think that running kids from place to place when they’re only four-years-old, waking them in their car seats to jam snacks and gear changes at them, is pretty crazy.  Totally crazy.

Well, I folded.  Apply a little peer pressure and watch me crumble.  I signed Five up for soccer.  I will add that it was against my better judgment, but her friends were in it and she said she wanted to go and… excuse, excuse… we’re on the green team.  So now I find myself hastily cramming her dinner down her throat two nights a week and racing down to the field with her sister to sit on the sidelines and watch her ‘play soccer’.

This is sounding worse than it really is.  Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely benefits.  As I fell to the grass last week after racing Three across the field and back for the thirteenth time while trying to watch Five sit on her ball and pick grass, I came up with a list of pro’s and con’s for under-five soccer.

Pro – Getting the kids outside after dinner for some exercise.

Con – Having to prepare dinner at 4:30, which they barely eat, and then having to make them a full meal again when you get home.

Pro – Dressing your child in their new, possibly first, uniform.

Con – Finding your child’s dirty uniform balled up in the laundry room three minutes before soccer starts and strapping them into their scratchy shin pads they vowed never to wear again.

Pro – Watching your child learn a new skill.

Con – The skill being how to kick a ball directly at you.  Hard.

Pro – Watching your child make new friends.

Con – Watching your child elbow their new friends, knocking them to the ground and stealing their ball, while you scream “Go!  Take it and go!”

Pro – Socializing with parents on the sidelines.

Con – Finding out at snack time that the lady you were just chatting with is the mother of the rough boy who just flattened your little angel.

Pro – Your child learning to follow the rules of a game.

Con – Your child running out of bounds carrying the ball and getting upset when the coach stops them.

Pro – Seeing your child’s smiling face at the end of the game.

Con – Seeing your child’s confused and possibly angry face when they find out it’s just snack time, not home time.

Pro – Watching your child score their first goal.

Con – Explaining to them that the goal didn’t count because it was in their own net.

Pro  - Rain.

Con  - Rain.


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