Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Can Boys and Girls Play Sports (Even If They're Not Good)?

Lisa Belkin--the one that wrote that interesting article on equal parenting in the New York Times Sunday Magazine earlier this year--talks today about the ramifications of a $149 genetic test you can give to your child to see if he or she will be athletically inclined. She doesn't delve so much into what that means for the future of sports, but she talks about what it means for parents and kids.

The stereotype of the screaming, bossy, overly invested parent at the athletic game comes to mind and may even live in the memories of some of the nerdier types out there. Sure, a simple test may stop parents who want an athletic kid from riding them so hard: If the kid just isn't genetically inclined than the pressure's off. But what about the value of failure?, Belkin asks. Apparently there's a lot of good to trying out a sport and failing at it. After all, that's how kids learn to deal with the failures of life.

But knowing that your kids won't be good at sports and making them play them anyway seems a little sadistic. So perhaps the solution is just to not give your kids the test but also be open to the idea that your kids may not be naturally good at sports. That can be frustrating and heartbreaking, but it can also teach children the valuable lesson of learning that they're not good at something.

Cross posted at Pushback.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Parents need to be very diligent about the spreading use of growth hormone among kids as young as junior high school. It readily and legally available over the internet in a homeopathic form and many are going behind their parents backs to obtain it.

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