Should all kids be forced to play sports?

It was so easy with my oldest, he loves everything competitive, but our younger son is just so blah about anything we introduce him to. Will it really matter in the long run? He gravitates toward video games and I just cringe, but how do I force the issue?


i think it’s very bold of you to say you cringe at something your child likes to do, regardless of what it is.

you should be encouraging them to what makes them happy, even if you don’t inherently like it. you just have to accept they’re very different individuals.

Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. Should all kids be forced to play sports?

I wouldn’t force him to play sports wait until he wants to.

Nobody should be FORCED to do anything. Even kids.


Uh. Why force your child into something they don’t like. I played video games since I was 5. I loved playing them& still do. Some kids are more introverts. Don’t force things on them…


Why would you force him to do something he doesn’t like? There’s nothing wrong with video games, some folks even go on to game competitively. Don’t make him resent you by forcing him to do a hobby he obviously doesn’t like.


You can promote healthy activity in other ways, like family evening walks, weekend bike rides etc. If he gravitates towards video games what about a kids software development class? Or art classes? Something that builds on his passion to show your support but allows him to socialize with kids with a similar interest like sports do


No, kids shouldn’t be forced because if they don’t like it or want to do it they won’t put all their effort into it and that wouldn’t be fun for anybody. All kids are different. The youngest doesn’t need to be just like the oldest. Leave him alone!

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Crazy how you “cringe” at your own child…


no kid should be “forced” to do anything other than go to school and apply themselves, and help their parents in maintaining their domicile.

Forcing them will make them dislike sports all together


Kids like what they like. If they don’t like sports, don’t force it. You can go on walks and other things like that. Liking video games isn’t really a crime or anything to cringe at.

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Don’t force him into any competitive sports, it’s not his thing.

My son is a gamer too… you know what he just got? A full ride through college.

Do require daily exercise though…


My husband was my daughter’s softball coach. The worst thing was moms signing up both kids when only one wanted to play, but it took care of a childcare issue so maybe that’s why they did it. Anyway, one kid was always enthusiastic and the other played in the dirt in outfield. It was frustrating to the rest of the team who wanted to win at least one game in the season. Force the kid to do something else.

Don’t force him to play sports. Maybe he’s just not a sports kind of guy. If its about him getting some exercise in maybe you all could just walk daily together or something. But as far as video games go, it might seem cringe to stay inside and play games but maybe introduce him to the world of coding. Some kids get into it super young and it could benefit his future even

In school I had no interest in sports until I made friends with kids that do, I only liked video games up until about age 14 then I finally got into sports.

No forcing. Encourage him to play outside doing things he enjoys. Exercise is important but organized sports should not be pushed if he’s not interested.

I never played sports once in my life growing up. I see people my age with worn out knees and such from repeated sprains and breaks. I’m sure they’ll do and be just fine with it without them☺️

Never ever force sports on a child

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When I was growing up we had to do 1 hour of something physical (hiking, biking ect) to get an hour worth of video game or tv time. If we wanted more hours we had to do more physical activity. Im really glad my family had me do this.


I was the video game kid, my mom encouraged me to try out a few different sports over the years and none of them ever stuck. She never pushed it and personally I think I turned out great! Sports aren’t for everyone, and no, it won’t matter in the long run if he has other interests. Just love and support him for who he is, don’t try to push him to be into sports like his brother if that’s not what comes naturally for him, he will resent you for it.


Don’t force him. If he loves a sport or hobby, let him flourish at his own pace.

No it should be up to them

You dont have to force him into sports. Encourage healthy activities together. Like a walk or bike ride or playing at the park. Just limit the amount of video game time so they aren’t spending a ridiculous amount of time in video games or it will become their whole lives…

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A kid should exercise but sports aren’t for all kids. Maybe music , art club, Girl Scouts / Boy Scouts , drama club … any other club … etc…

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I do require my middle schoolers to pick one sport or club to try a year. Keeps them busy, helps them build skill, make new friends, etc. Im not expecting them to be great at anything and if they want to change if they like something better then thats fine too. But they do have to participate in something, yes.

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He could end up being a video game designer and making six figures a year. One of my kids like soccer one likes video games and the other loves the water and dress up. I never deter any of my kids from what they like to do rather it be a sport or a game. And I would never push them into a hobby that they don’t like

Some kids are just not athletic. Just make sure they get out and play away from the gadgets. Try lessons that aren’t around sports

My son is 12. He is a gamer through and though. He does however love to go and play airsoft. Its like his game in real life. Super fun and very healthy exercise but in a way he enjoys it. Look for things out of your normal and see if you can find something he loves. Better than forcing they and them hating it.

As a coach, never force a kid into a sport.

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To answer your question. You don’t. You don’t force anyone to do anything they don’t want to do. Your kid or not.

You cannot force a child to like things they do not like and trying to will make them hate it more and resent you. Try doing things that are a compromise like let’s go to the walk now and later we can all play a game together or something that also includes his likes. :woman_shrugging:t2: Instead of trying to make him conform to your likes and such make him feel it’s ok that he has his own.

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We don’t push, and I don’t think we as adults should force our kids to play sports not all kids are athletic or enjoy them.
When a season comes up that one of my other kids is playing in I ask them, if they say no we leave it at that. However once they say yes and we pay that know they have committed themselves for the season.
The child might change their minds when they are older, but pushing them to do a sport that they don’t want to do isn’t going to change their behavior.

My fiance was put into sports to “keep him out of trouble”. He is very athletic naturally, but is an artistic, gentle man. His father said “arts are for f**s” (please excuse that language, but that’s the horrible type of person he is) and it hurt him so much on a mental and emotional level. Messed him up bad and it took a few yrs of therapy to be able to overcome the ingrained sh*t forced upon him by toxic parents.

Let your child be themselves. It’s their life, not yours

Video games can be competitive and are an “e-sport”

But forcing a kid into a sport isnt going to make them like it anymore/less than before.

Not everyone is even into sports and turn out the same as kids who were into sports. :woman_shrugging:t3:


No you shouldn’t force sports on kids. I do believe all kids benefit from activities but there are so many choices that don’t involve sports if the child isn’t so athletically inclined.

Plenty of physical activities that don’t need to be competitive.

I think all kids should do some sort of physical activity, although it doesn’t have to be competitive, I also encourage after school activities, it keeps him out of trouble.

No I skipped all of my pe lessons during secondary school

The fear I had over my body issues I just couldn’t do it

Everyone has choices

Unfortunately you cannot force a child to do sports they will resent you for it later. Get them into video gaming tournaments or a class on how to do encryption. There are other things that you can do that goes hand-in-hand with gamers.

Sports aren’t a must but I’d encourage bike riding, scooter, walking, hiking, etc. something active on a regular basis. Doesn’t have to be organized.

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He likes tech stuff maybe?. Kenneth Delso Jr. What are some of the tech things she can order to stimulate his brain if he’s not into sports?

Video games are a sport. Try to set up an esports team at school. They can do patreon or twitch streams as a fundraiser to go to competitions

You should never force them to do something they don’t like. We as adults don’t do things we don’t like. I have 4 kids.3 are adults now and a 9 yr old. Two of my kids loved sports. My other adult son did not. He would sign up gst the shirt and ask if he could quit. I told him yes but in the future we dont sign up if we don’t want to play as its not fair to the team. I will gladly just pay for the shirt. My youngest also doesn’t like sports ect basketball only with her brother. I dont force it. I font want to see them unhappy. They have their own things they like.

Just going to leave this here.

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Do not force a sport, especially a team sport. If they aren’t into it, the whole team suffers. I have one rule on sports…if you decide to play, it is for the whole season… again it isn’t fair to the team to be a player short (obviously not referring to being sick or injured.)

You don’t. He will find something he is interested in. No child should be forced to do any extracurricular activity if they aren’t enjoying it. Just my opinion.

No kid is the same I would just let him be something I learned is that one of my kids is a physical hard worker and the other works better on his own and sitting down. Sports are not always the answer

Maybe not sports but some kind of activity … not videos games

No, sports aren’t for everyone. Try other things , art club, theater, my kids love 4H and showing animals . So many other options

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I have had my child try basketball baseball and now football. He didn’t seem interested in basketball - started to like baseball at the end and now loves football. I pushed him to try and not give up and then next year he can decide what he wants to do.

My middle boy doesn’t prefer anything over video games. I do force him to go outside. For years he sat out there and read :rofl: now he sometimes picks up a basketball.

Go hiking with just him. Find something else he likes that keeps him active. I wouldn’t push sports. He may detest it and forcing him won’t change that. But maybe broaden your horizons and find something unique he enjoys.

I wouldn’t ever force my kids to play sports. My oldest has played something since he was 3. My youngest tried tball this year and hated it so he didn’t finish the season. I always will ask if they wanna play and if they so no then I leave it at that. I think the kids that are forced to play it only makes them resent you for it.


I believe all kids should be in a team activity of some kind. Not every “sport” is physical. Give him a few options and make it an obligation. Team activities build self esteem, self confidence, critical thinking, problem solving, and social skills.

I know loads of people making great money doing twitch or other online gaming stuff. Try to peak his interest in something he is interested in.

Would you like to be forced to do something you don’t like to do simply because your siblings do it? Every kid is different. Find other activities that are good for him. Maybe a video game camp or something technology related.


Kids shouldn’t be forced to do anything, yes physical activity is very important but sometimes sports isn’t the way to go. Try and find other things that he might be interested in like art or music. If you force a child to play sports, it isn’t as much fun for them and they will end up being miserable

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You can’t force it. Don’t you remember being a kid? Let him be who he is and just cheer him to be the best at which ever endeavors he chooses. :100::heavy_heart_exclamation:

I wouldn’t force him to do it! But definitely give him a limited time to game systems and electronics. Then maybe he will want to try new things

Absolutely not. A kid shouldn’t be forced to participate in activities just because another did. Each child is different and should be treated accordingly

I don’t think all kids should be required to play a sport, but they should be encouraged to join some kind of group or activity. They shouldn’t be forced to do anything, that just teaches them that it’s okay to be forced into things they may not like doing. My oldest and youngest both do sports, but my middle kid is not athletic at all. Shes interested in other things, like art. She also plays the viola and has taught herself to play the piano too. Many parents think that kids HAVE to play a sport, but there’s tons of other things they could do instead.

Never force a kid to do something they hate if its not essential to their safety.
They suffer, you suffer and the team suffers! Sports are not a necessity but I would try to find other likes besides all video games.

Phys Ed is enough for kids who don’t conform to organized sports. Parents can also encourage activity at home.

You don’t force the issue. Jesus. Let people like what they like. Kids are getting scholarships to schools for gaming and IT work as well as sports these days too. Why not foster a love for computers or games or those types of things instead?

Maybe something like martial arts instead of traditional team sports


If they like games I say invest in WII like just dance and stuff like that you can find ways to meet half way. But downing something they are passionate about can and will end up back firing majorly speaking from experience here lol loss of self confidence becoming self conscious, anxious and depressed like they have to hide who they are it’s just not worth it when there are ways to meet half way. Even have where its family Dance Competition day have fun with it make it something exciting and after if you keep score let winner pick what’s going to be done for dinner and even continue the fun into doing dinner as a family

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If he doesn’t like something don’t force it on him. Maybe he is more of a techie. Get him into those programming places where kids learn how to code so he can make his own video games and stuff like that. It’s what they like not you. If you force him into something he hates or don’t listen to him he may come to resent you.

In my house it doesn’t have to be a physical sport but they have to do something… sitting around the house playing video games doesn’t cut it for me.

Do not force. Find other things like an art class or computer courses your child can try. Go off of their interests and encourage positive growth from that.


Can’t force the sports, but can do away with the video game sessions :woman_shrugging:

Nope! Sports aren’t everything and definitely not the only way to learn.

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My brother wasn’t into sports and it absolutely devastated my step dad. His negative feelings about my brother being an individual ended up dividing then for a while. Dont be the parent always wishing their kid is something else and love and support them for who the are instead


Take away the video games :thinking: that’s the issue. My kids do not have tablets nor video games. If they’re bored in the house they go outside and play.

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I always say don’t live your life through your children. If they aren’t into sports it’s OK! There is so much more to do than sports


Put him in a coding class to learn to make his own video games. Sports isn’t for everyone. Everyone is different with different likes and dislikes. Forcing him will only make him hate it more. Let him be his own person!


I played basketball and ran track. My parents didn’t force either. And once i said i was done they said ok. It should be up to kid whether they want to play or not. We have people telling us our oldest(5) should play ball. Its up to her and im not going to force it

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Start hiking as a family. My son got a psp, and I never saw his face. We started outdoor things like hikes, moved to a farm, with lots of neighboring farms and nice people. So we walk, cycle go down to the dam and rivers, then he comes back and talks about what he has seen. He now has a ps4 and limits his own time. His is now 16 and one of the first to harness the dogs and say lets go walking… If you all do it, it does work better.


It’s not about you and what you like, It’s about what he likes! Do not force him to do anything he doesn’t want to do! I’m not sure why you would cringe at something he likes to do?! I can’t even imagine cringing at something my son enjoys and forcing him into something he doesn’t like :woman_facepalming:t3::woman_facepalming:t3:


It’s always a good idea to get them into something that keeps them active and out of trouble. Maybe encourage playing outside and more sports at home? & less video games.

You don’t. If he’s tried a couple and doesn’t like it then that’s it. Idk why parents feel like they have to force their kids into sports when they show 0 interest.


My oldest did dance for a few years and tried softball, but she really didn’t like it. She is more into art now so we bought her an iPad and downloaded an art app so she makes her own comics and also sketches with traditional art too. Just let him be who he is as long as he’s being active too. Have him earn game time by doing outdoor activities. Ride his bike for a while, do some yard work, play with siblings & then have game time


I’m not sure it should be pushed. My son was in every sport. But he lived and breathed sports. But I’d find something physical for him to do on a regular basis… And I’d have strict rules on how many hours of video games. Thank goodness I didn’t have kids in these days. It was easier in the day, plain and simple

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Not everyone likes sports. Some kids like art, music, math, science… instead if trying to force him/her into participating in something that doesnt interest him why dont you ask him/her what extracurricular they would prefer and would hild their interest.


We don’t force sports when the kids are older but you have to do something whether it’s band, scouts, some kind of club, etc. When they are little I sign them up for different sports to try them out and see if they like anything.

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Yes your son who loves sports could go very far in life and in college… but have you considered the possibility of all that’s out there for “video games” there’s game testers… game developers… coders… there’s tons of things that enjoying video games could lead him to in the future and it be something he truly loves! I was a college softball player. And my daughter despises softball… instead she’s a in contemporary dance. Support him and his love!

If he likes games and isnt an athletic person put him in computer coding class or a more indoorsy type thing my son loves games and sports but I never force him to do one of the other

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You can’t force something on a child if they don’t want to do it. Just cause your first child was into sports dosen’t mean your second child will like it! Stop comparing them.

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Please don’t force him to play sports. Limit time spent playing video games. He may develop other interests. My dad tried to force me to play sports. I was always socially and physically awkward and playing sports only made me feel embarrassed and resentful towards him for forcing me to do it. I excelled academically. I wish he would’ve been happy with that.

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Don’t… Kid isn’t into sports… Forcing it will make him resent you.

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Esports has varsity teams now. Our high schools and our university all have teams and I think it will spread into middle schools. They also do camps for kids to see if they like it. It’s video games but with actual human connection. At first I thought it sounded odd, but now I love that it gives gamers their own clubs and teams to gather, connect, and compete.

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Well, tell him he can do his video games for a limited time per day and has to find something physical to do per day also.

You don’t force a child to do something they don’t want to do. You cant force anyone for that matter, they’re their own person.

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It doesn’t have to be contact sports. My son loves football, but he also loves motocross, BMX, archery, rock climbing, etc. maybe just another club to keep him active is all he needs. I bet robotics would be awesome.

I’m glad my parents weren’t the sort to force people into sports. They forced music, and that was interesting. Created a strange dynamic where we both appreciate and resent music. My sister tried to force my children into sports. I just laughed at her. They’re welcome to try it, but it’s not for me to decide. Now, I have one artist. One singer and one who’s still figuring it out. And that’s okay.

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I don’t necessarily think it has to be sports but some type of group or team activity.

No, but I would encourage fitness. I was never and will never be competitive. And team sports were my worst nightmare. But I was great at (and really enjoyed) solo stuff like yoga, hiking, rock climbing, etc. Also think about martial arts, boxing, etc. He might like that since fighting can kinda relate to video games.

No way. Explore other interests with him. Everyone is different.


Dont. But don’t let him sit round doing nothing all day either. Take a long daily walk or do the garden together…something active preferably. Maybe try martial arts of some kind…my son hated sports but loved his Tae Kwon Do…sport isn’t for everyone but we all need something active in the fresh air every day