18 answers

Organized Activities and 3 Year Old Boys

So my husband got the email from a friend, "Hey! Our son and the kids in his preschool are going to be on a 3 year old soccer team. Do you want to sign your son up?" My husband who has been waiting since the pregnancy test results for this question quickly said yes.

We both felt a little apprehensive about our son doing anything organized in a group - he is definitely an independent, strong willed little guy, and normally likes to do his own thing but we wanted to give him a chance to see how he did.

It hasnt gone well. At both practices, my son has totally resisted doing what the other kids are doing, and even being in proximity with them. He ran off to play in the bushes and played with rocks and sticks by himself. The only other boy did the same thing. The rest of the "team" are all girls, who were happily and dutifully running drills and singing a soccer song.

Is this "normal" for a 3 year old boy? Should I keep bringing him in the hopes that he decides he wants to do it? Is there anything I can do to coax him to be more interested in organized activities?

A little more background. My son goes to daycare/preschool so is around other children in a somewhat structured setting all day. The soccer team has practices at one of the other kid's houses, so my son is really mostly interested in trying to get inside and playing with the toys.

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks for all the responses. They are definitely what I wanted to hear.

It is totally fine with both my husband and I if he doesnt want to do soccer now, or ever. We signed him up so that he could have a chance to have the experience to see if he liked it. At home, when I try to get him to play leapfrog, or Simon Says, or any sort of game like that, he normally resists, so I thought he might learn to do better in structured activities if he participated in one with other kids.

This was also a chance for some Daddy/Son bonding time while I had some Mommy/Daughter time with baby sister.

I am not a mom who will have my child in 5 different types of lessons and on 3 different teams, fretting constantly that someone elses kid is doing better than mine.

I was mainly just looking to expand his options beyond the sandbox and pile of sticks in our back yard. :)

Featured Answers

"I think the phrase "Organized Activites for 3 Year Old Boys" is an oxymoron!"

AMEN! Denise P

I can't IMAGINE my son actually practicing soccer. OTOH, I'd send him if there was a big fenced field he couldn't escape from with the hope he'd do enough actual running to come home TIRED!

3 moms found this helpful

That was my exact experience with my 3-year old. We flexed and let him do what he wanted. :) Some people say it's too young, anyway...

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers

"I think the phrase "Organized Activites for 3 Year Old Boys" is an oxymoron!"

AMEN! Denise P

I can't IMAGINE my son actually practicing soccer. OTOH, I'd send him if there was a big fenced field he couldn't escape from with the hope he'd do enough actual running to come home TIRED!

3 moms found this helpful

This is totally normal. At this point, in soccer just teaching social skills with game skills thrown in. We put my son in when he was 4, he would stand in the middle of the field and cry, lay down and roll around, pick flowers, he would spin in circles and twirl his arms, wiggle his butt at the other kids and giggle, sometimes he would actually participate. We weren't going to put him back the next year, but he begged. So, imagine our surprise when the first day of practice he was going after the ball, dribbling, making goals... It's purely developmental! In the meantime, you or dad can kick the soccer ball around with him at home.

3 moms found this helpful

Totally, totally normal. Keep bringing him, make him go to games, etc. You all made a commitment to be there, so . . .
One thing that really helped us is to make sure our kids are the ones who said "Yes." that way when they cry or "don't want to" we can remind them it was their decision:)
FYI - My now 4yo cannot WAIT for soccer this year and my 7 yo has played some sort of Y organized sport for the past 4 years and loves it. some of it is a new environement, so treat the rest of this year as a "warm up" but I would work with him on at least staying on/near the field and somewhat on-task with the group - if you can - LOL!
We also helped our kiddos by setting aside family practice time in the yard where we did the same drills as the coach, but one-on-one. It helped the practice seem less "dull" and the boys knew what to exptect (and it gave us all outside time together!!).
Hang in there and try to enjoy it all:)

2 moms found this helpful

Totally normal. That's what makes 3 year old soccer so much fun to watch! Soon, they will run like a small pack or herd.

Wait till he's in right field digging for worms or catching butterflies!

And BTW, I think the phrase "Organized Activites for 3 Year Old Boys" is an oxymoron!

2 moms found this helpful

In the current world of overachieving parents wanting overachieving kids someone thought organized sports would be a good idea. No child is ready socially to play on a team at 3. They are just moving out of the "me" phase and beginning to learn how was play with other kids. So is he typical in 3 year old behavior? Absolutely! Should you take him out and try again when he's older? That's up to you but don't expect him to play any differently than he does. IMHO I'd take him out and wait till at least 5 and then let him chose an activity. My son just started kindergarten and we offered soccer, baseball, karate or swimming lessons and he has chosen swimming he has no interest in the others at this point.

2 moms found this helpful

That was my exact experience with my 3-year old. We flexed and let him do what he wanted. :) Some people say it's too young, anyway...

2 moms found this helpful

Three is too young for organized sports for either sex, boys especially. I suggest waiting at least a year before signing him up for anything structured. If he does not on his own express an interest in playing, don't force him.

2 moms found this helpful

I think he's too young too . . .

My very, very sports-oriented older son did not start an organized sport until he was 4.

2 moms found this helpful

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