Friday, October 9, 2009

Attachment Parenting Meets the Gridiron

I have two sons and a husband who are all sports fanatics. My 18 year old son played both football and soccer in high school. He isn't playing college sports this year, but may well be back on the soccer field next year! My 11 year old plays football, wrestles, and plays baseball. My husband played football and baseball in high school, too. So it should come as no surprise that Sports Illustrated is a staple in our household.

I picked up the Oct. 12 issue earlier this evening. An article about Florida Gator's quarterback Tim Tebow caught my eye. Though we aren't Gators fans, I think Tebow is one of the classiest young men I've ever seen. Not only is he an amazing athlete, but he also demonstrates true character. His faith has feet that take him to the Philippines to minister to children. His leadership both on the field and off it has made him a legend in his own time. In his "Point After" column, writer Chris Ballard discusses whether Tebow should play in this weekend's game against LSU.

The discussion centers on the safety of Tebow's getting back on the field after his concussion two weeks ago. As a mother of athletic kids, I felt myself responding to this column with a resounding "YES, IT'S ABOUT TIME!" reaction. We want our children to be safe and healthy. Our whole parenting style is built around helping them feel secure. Yet even at the Pop Warner level, it's so easy for both coaches and kids to want a player back in the game too soon. And pity the poor mother who says, "Um, I don't really think he's ready..."

I've been pretty lucky with my kids' coaches, but I do remember my son passing out with a concussion following a nasty hit his junior year. He was back in there way too soon, and stayed in until the coach realized that he just wasn't sharp and wasn't functioning normally. AP mom that I am, I had urged him not to play. But he was determined not to let his team down, and his coach believed him when he said he was good to go!. Fortunately, he didn't take another nasty hit, and was able to recover completely.

But the article I read tonight made me realize that I will be much more proactive with son #2. If my momma instincts tell me he's not ready to get back into a game, I'm gonna listen! Pity the poor coach who tries to cross me! Son #1 used to say I was just too protective. He thought he was invincible (common mindset for teens). I knew he wasn't, but I didn't make too big a fuss when I thought he was hurt. It will be very different with Son #2!

I'm realizing more and more how important the AP principles are to all of parenting, not just when they're little. And I'm all the more thankful that I was blessed enough to learn about this wonderful parenting philosophy!


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  2. David,
    I'm not sure I agree with the way you are classifying parenting styles. Furthermore, parenting changes as your children grow. The boundaries one sets for a toddler and carefully enforces will be very different when that child is a teen. There will still be boundaries and enforcement, but good training when they are younger will help them make good decisions as they grow.