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How to handle 3 y.o.'s disinterest in soccer

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone,
My son, Carson, who turned 3 in July, is currently involved in a 10-week soccer class on Sat mornings. It's 45 mins long, involves about 10 kids his age, and focuses on play, rather than actual soccer training. The coach is very good with the kids and laid back.
Anyway, my problem is that my son has never shown much interest in the class. He follows almost none of the directions the coach gives, and he seems very disinterested in what is going on around him (including the other kids). He is the only one of all the kids who doesn't seem to be having fun and who really doesn't pay attention the whole time.
Last week was particularly bad, and he spent the whole time sitting on the sidelines with my husband watching the other kids.
There are only 2 weeks left, so my husband and I are torn as to whether to just not make him go the last 2 weeks, seeing as he doesn't seem to be enjoying it; or is it better to make him go (even if he doesn't participate) to show him that he has to follow through with his obligations. We certainly don't want him thinking that anytime he doesn't like something, he can just quit.
What are your thoughts?
post #2 of 27
He's only 3. If he's not enjoying the class, then don't take him. He's far too young to understand "I've made a commitment and I need to keep it." He's far more likely to learn "Soccer is hard and classes are boring, and I don't want to ever play soccer or sign up for any kind of class ever again."

Even with older children, I question the wisdom of "keep going because you committed to it." I think a lot of adults have trouble letting go or saying no when it's healthy or appropriate to do so, primarily because they've been pushed to continue things that weren't working, and taught to not trust their instints.
post #3 of 27
At that age I would let it go.
post #4 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
He's only 3. If he's not enjoying the class, then don't take him. He's far too young to understand "I've made a commitment and I need to keep it." He's far more likely to learn "Soccer is hard and classes are boring, and I don't want to ever play soccer or sign up for any kind of class ever again."

Even with older children, I question the wisdom of "keep going because you committed to it." I think a lot of adults have trouble letting go or saying no when it's healthy or appropriate to do so, primarily because they've been pushed to continue things that weren't working, and taught to not trust their instints.
Exactly this.
post #5 of 27
Three is awfully young for activities like this. I'd let it go and try again in a year or longer. And I agree that the "finish what you started" lesson is not a great one. Better to teach kids to evaluate what would happen if they quit and weigh pros and cons of their decision.
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post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
He's only 3. If he's not enjoying the class, then don't take him. He's far too young to understand "I've made a commitment and I need to keep it." He's far more likely to learn "Soccer is hard and classes are boring, and I don't want to ever play soccer or sign up for any kind of class ever again."

Even with older children, I question the wisdom of "keep going because you committed to it." I think a lot of adults have trouble letting go or saying no when it's healthy or appropriate to do so, primarily because they've been pushed to continue things that weren't working, and taught to not trust their instints.
I agree with this completely.
post #7 of 27
Seems like terrible way to spend a Saturday. It's one thing if he's having fun, but he's not. As for following through-- was it his commitment to start with? I don't know many 3 yo who can understand "every Saturday for ten weeks".

He is not benefitting in any way from this, go do something fun! Enjoy your family time together.
post #8 of 27
I wouldn't make him go if he doesn't enjoy it, BUT is he *not* enjoying it or is he just not particpating? Ds went to a dance class for a while where he would sit in the corner "because there are too many kids" but he like to watch and he would do all the stuff at home, just not in the class, and he always wanted to go back, he just didn't want to participate, just watch. We went until the session was over and might sign up again in the fall, because he did get something out of it, just not in the moment.
post #9 of 27
He's 3. Don't make him go.
post #10 of 27
He's three, and it sounds like it wasn't his idea. Don't make him go.
post #11 of 27
At that age I would say let it go.
post #12 of 27
If he doesn't like it, I'd just let him stop going. Maybe ask him his thoughts about it? Maybe he does like it and just isn't sure how to get involved? He'll probably tell you if he'd be happier not going. Three year olds shouldn't really have obligations anyway.
post #13 of 27
At 3 I would stop going. Maybe try again in a year?
post #14 of 27
Three year olds can't make ten week commitments. At that age you are still working on helping them follow through with ten minute commitments!
post #15 of 27
I run a small family based soccer league. Most 5 year olds aren't ready to commit even when playing with parents and siblings. Three is VERY young. Have you asked him if he wants to keep going even to just watch? If not, send the coach a thank you note for his hard work (or drop it off if your son wants that closure) and then let it go.
post #16 of 27
He's 3.
A lack of committment to anything but the toy of the day is normal. If he doesn't like it, don't force it on him. My 4 year old loves her dance group but if she ever expressed a desire to stop dancing, she'd be out as soon as she wanted.

Don't punish him for it. Don't rag on him about it. Just let him know "Okay, you don't want to do this? Maybe there's something else you could try? Would you like to help find it?" kind of deal.
post #17 of 27
He JUST turned 3 in July. Drop the class and move on. When my son was almost 6 we did this w. kick ball and it was a disaster and we dropped it after 2 weeks.
post #18 of 27
I'm chuckling a bit over this thread. Sorry.

Why not spend a Saturday morning kicking a ball around the park or back yard instead of soccer practice? Like everyone else said, he's three. Three is an awfully young age to introduce organized sports. Free-choice play would be a much better alternative.
post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
He's only 3. If he's not enjoying the class, then don't take him. He's far too young to understand "I've made a commitment and I need to keep it." He's far more likely to learn "Soccer is hard and classes are boring, and I don't want to ever play soccer or sign up for any kind of class ever again."

Even with older children, I question the wisdom of "keep going because you committed to it." I think a lot of adults have trouble letting go or saying no when it's healthy or appropriate to do so, primarily because they've been pushed to continue things that weren't working, and taught to not trust their instints.
I agree with this. Three is young to be in formal activities like that! And though it's laid back and play, it's still scheduled and he's just a little kid. Let him be a little kid and hold off on that stuff .
post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by sparklett View Post
I'm chuckling a bit over this thread. Sorry.

Why not spend a Saturday morning kicking a ball around the park or back yard instead of soccer practice? Like everyone else said, he's three. Three is an awfully young age to introduce organized sports. Free-choice play would be a much better alternative.
Me too.
Just quit. Big whoop. He's 3.
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