One of the core goals that I have for my kids is, as a parent, to try to help them develop very physically fit bodies. Obviously, it would be a great thrill to me if, later on in life, my daughter ended up as a soccer chick and my son ended up as a basketball stud – as those have been my primary sports since I was a kid. However, as I’ve said elsewhere in the site, a big part of how Scientologists view parenting is to outfit a child with tools for life, but to not make their decisions for them and force or impose your own childhood goals upon them. This video helps explain this.
So, while I’m not going to force either of them to like a certain sport, I’m certainly going to try as hard as I can to make the idea of working out, running, and using the body to be much more interesting than the idea of vegging out in front of a computer screen.
My own personal observation is that most people would like to be athletic. It’s my feeling that most kids would like to be able to go out and push the body and have fun with it. And it’s my feeling that it’s only when parents, relatives and friends run a black-PR campaign against working out, that it starts to fail. Continued statements of “Oh, I’m too tired to go outside,” and “Oh, go out and play…I’m just going to sit here & watch a movie,” all steer kids away from an active lifestyle.
And then it gets worse if they then observe you not taking care of your body and never working out.
Personally, by the time my son is old enough that he’s going to want to start working on his vertical leap for sports, I damn well want to be able to show him how to dunk a basketball. And I’d love to demonstrate and ensure my kids can understand the gratifying feeling of being able to run one’s guts out on the soccer field so as to run some other dude’s punk ass down and score on / slide-tackle them (as applicable).
Maybe neither of them get into team sports. If so, oh well. But if they do still understand the beautiful feeling of being able to push the body hard & see how fast it can go, I think that’ll serve them well in the long run.
And as an appropriate postscript (and what the inspiration was for this post in the first place) here’s a little slideshow of my kids at their new gymnastics class: