Monday, October 7, 2013

Fatherhood: Sports and the son of a nerd

I've always been a great big nerd, even before I had a way of expressing it. It may not have been until late high school that I got a chance to play DnD or Magic: the Gathering but that didn't mean that I wasn't the type of person that genuinely wanted to do such things...and it seemed others noticed as well. Bullying and teasing were pretty common features of my childhood and I like to think I took it better than many did. I stood up to the bullies that needed it and ignored the ones that would go away. Despite this though I developed a lot of my own biases that are still with me.

My wife asked me a couple of months ago about getting our son involved in sports. "What kind of sport do you want to sign him up for?" she asked me. What came out of my mouth was "I'm not sure" but what I meant was "None, I don't want my son to be a jerk!" Yeah, I made it out of childhood fine, just fine.

I still remember being in high school (the only stage of school I managed to get through without moving at least twice) and at lunch I'd be hanging out with friends, eating food and playing a bit of MtG. Good times. Just about every day though at least two members of the varsity football team, amongst others, would come by and hassle us. Each instance wasn't bad but the effort was constant and very obnoxious. They refused to be ignored and fighting them wasn't much of an option (our football team had a reputation for revenge.)

Fast forward to now and I have a three year old son that my wife (being quite brilliant) thinks should be signed up for some kind of regular physical activity. Soonish. I do agree with her that physical fitness is important and I like to think that its clear that I value having a hobby but my feelings on sports are sadly negative. I worry that my son will grow to be another of the jerks that made my childhood worse.

Some have suggested that I consider marital arts as an alternative (and I'm certainly leaning that way for my daughter) but I worry that he'd be without the social benefits that a team sport can offer. Am I letting my own bias interfere with good parenting or should I listen to my own feelings and encourage him away from team sports in favor of more individualist persuits?

1 comment:

  1. I have been a nerd my whole life but also I enjoy rugby and am a black.belt in ju jitsu, sport has nothing to do with the matter its just the people who do it that are the problem. I went through the whole teasing part but its helped make me who today. Hope I helped and love the blog