Effects on children of parents pushing them in sports research papers example

Inquiry Research Paper

Parents experience feelings of achievement when they watch their children excel in sports activities. Hence, many parents encourage their children to perform better. Problems start when parents encourage their children too much and expect much more. Excess encouragement starts when parents believe that their children could be star athletes in future. Children are being introduced to sport activities that are competitive at a very early age. Putting such a commitment on a child is not healthy for their mental and physical development, especially when they reach teen years. Due to being over trained, children pushed too hard can burn out. Accumulated fatigue causes them to underperform in sports (Wilson, 2014).

Motivating Factors that Drive Parents to Push their Children in Sports

Information technology in the 21st century has educated parents highly about benefits of sports in children since such benefits are invaluable. Children get to learn basic societal rules, make friends, nurture their potential to be great sports people, learn how to mutually respect and cooperate with others. Research reveals that some of the great sportspersons we have today were greatly coached during childhood years. Parents get encouraged to engage their children in sports activities as a mechanism for a healthy development and growth. Medics have noted the significant relationship between language development, sports, growth rate, and physiological health in general. Children actively involved in sports learn language when very young due to metabolic rates that are increased. Dreams by parents of multi million contracts, college scholarships, and Olympic glory result in children being pushed by parents to play sports.

Effects of Pushing Children in Sports

Even though parents may get encouraged to engage their children in sports, they should allow these children to venture into sports on their own interest or liking. This way, children can find fulfillment and happiness in sports. Failure to allow them to participate willingly can lead to harmful effects. For some parents, only the best of performances are tolerated. With such high expectations, parents can get abusive towards their children. Failure to meet such expectations due to lack of talent or skills may give parents a hard time accepting the limitations of their children (Barboza, 2014).

High Risk of Getting Injured

About seventy-five percent of children are barely seven years of age when they get pushed into sports. Exposing children aggressively in sports increases the chances of them getting injured. However, the sports have rules and children under age of seven cannot learn complicated rules or moves because they are still developing physically and mentally. Hence, children with sports inflicted injuries may grow up with a negative attitude to sports because they blame sports for physical miseries instead of associating sports with happiness. In a few cases, major injuries caused in sporting activities have resulted in total disability. Modern research in sport technology recommends that child players should get protection by strict safety regulations. Pediatrics experts, on the other hand, argue that children should get introduced to sports when they are fully matured mentally to follow and understand sporting rules.


Most parents have been known to set unattainable targets in sports for their children without putting into consideration their young age and their abilities to physically succeed in sports. This type of parents choose sports independently without the help of experts and without considering the sustainability of sports in the children, but they base their decision on tastes, ego, and fashion. Such parents get obsessed with the idea of their children becoming young sport celebrities. The targets get unrealistic, especially when the wrong sport gets chosen for them. The fear the children have towards their parents makes them to struggle beyond their mental and physical capabilities. The children end up being frustrated and hence loose the importance of sports. It is estimated that over 1, 300 children tend to complain about their parents or trainers over conflicts related to sports. Forcing children on sports is a great violation and offenders should be liable to face prosecution.

Loss of Self Esteem

Parents are known to be the worst judges regarding the abilities of their children. Emotional investment by parents tends to cloud their judgment and hence blinds them from seeing that the sporting gift is not in their children. Instead of not identifying that the talent is not there, some parents tend to push the children further. In situations where children lack the sporting ability but get forced to enter in competitions, they get humiliated and continue to fail in sports. Instead of encouraging a healthy self-esteem in participation of sports, the repeated embarrassment causes them to get stressed and withdrawn. Children who get pushed into sports that they dislike do not get to perform or master the sporting art. They get laughed at by senior colleagues in the same sport who have mastered the sports well (Kevin, 2014). Children develop low esteem as a result of getting ridiculed and remain isolated in sporting sessions and rarely interact with children of the same class. Such children need to get psychotherapeutic help to reinstate their confidence and self-esteem.

Feelings of Failure

Organized sports require knowledge that is cognitive that can help children to get new training to master the sport. Organized sports have techniques and rules if the participants are mature and have cognitive abilities, such sports include basketball, hockey, and football among others. In addition, their coaches and trainers can get impatient and get quick result oriented when teaching those new concepts and rules that grow in complexity. Children will with time develop feelings of being failures (Ellis, 2014). Feeling of failure to children due to wrong choice of sports by trainers and parents who are over ambitious lead to poor performance in academics. Children who get pushed in sports become resistant and rigid to learn new skills, concepts, and ideas in schools compared to fellow children who had a chance to choose a sport of their liking at the right time.

Children are dropping out

Some children think that those who engage in sports are super talented and are ready to experience the pressure that comes with sports. The rate of children dropping out of sports is alarmingly increasing. The children drop out when a sporting activity ceases to get fun and winning gets prioritized. Also some parents drop out due to demanding sport schedules such as taking children to practice, changing plans to vacation that are cumbersome and keeping the track of sport schedules. Children can become involved overly in sports and hence neglect other subjects in their lives, time commitments in sports have got so demanding that unstructured play does not get allocation of time. Family vacation and dinners have decreased significantly.


Parent’s high expectation lead to stress in children. Thechild tends to get uptight and mostly nervous about the game and how he or she would perform. Knowledge that the parents will not accept loss makes them to try whatever means possible to win acompetition. The need to win can outweigh values of fairness, honesty, playing well and fun. Even though professional athletes act as a source positive inspiration and role models, children who get vulnerable may seem to admire such celebrities due their negative behaviors such as drug abuse and aggressive acts. Parents tend to get so much involved in the sport that their children participate in and can often get into arguments or get violent especially during sporting events (Hatter, 2014). Such parents can insists that their children stay in the game even after getting injured or child becomes sick. Some parents let their kids know their parental love dependson how well they perform during sporting competitions.
For example, a nine year old boy complained of having trouble sleeping and being anxious. He complained of being tired all the time. Medical exams revealednothing physically and when taken to a psychologist, Kevin’s daily schedule got reviewed and it was identified that his schedule could have resulted to stress in his body. The mother defended the schedule and said that Kevin had no stress because he loves doing everything as planned in the schedule. She also showed signs of being under pressure because of her fulltime job. Her husband travelled a lot and hence leaving her with so much to handle at home. She thought she was providing Kevin with a good childhood that she did not have by involving him in all the extracurricular activities. When left on his own without his mothers presence he explained that he missed playing in the neighborhood with his friends.

Myths that have led parents to push their children

The first myth states that children have to start early to become professional later in life. Children are sporting at three to four years. Starting sporting activities early does not guarantee success in sports. Contrary to this myth, most of the people in sports worlds began sporting when older. Research that has got conducted with follow up studys and shows that kids taught swimming when early feared being in water when they grew up and had the thought that water can get dangerous. The second myth states that children ability will change either way with time( Hatter, 2014). The physical competence and ability tends to change when a child grows. Achild’sinterest and motivation should get prematurely done by parents because he could be a slow learner that can improve as he tends to grow up. Children should also get encourage to engage in different sports that encourage different use of body parts. The last myth states that lack of coordination on the parents can get inherited by theirchildren. The interest and opportunity helps a child to enjoy sports that are many to choose from.

Positive effects of pushing children to engage in sports

A challenge gets experienced when balancing happiness and achievement and parents find themselves in an uncertain position. If parents push too hard their kids may get unhappy and unsuccessful, also if they do not get pushed they might feel less motivated and self satisfied. Parents face choices of deciding either to let kids enjoy their childhood or help them achieve financial freedom in adulthood. Children can get to develop toughbeliefs inthemselves that can help them gain responsibility and commitment. They can also develop emotionalmastery to help them overcome setbacks and obstacles as they aim for success. Successful pushing gets encouraged to both gifted and non gifted children. However positive pushing only gets achieved when parents do the right thing. The relationship between these children and their parents becomes strengthened.
Parents should get engaged in to the issue of their child’s achievement as well as happiness and then get educated about its impacts. Parents then get to see the red flags that they should look out for in themselves and in their children. Parents also get to be shown how to solve the red flags and also receive guidance towards the happiness and success of their children. Positive pushing can become successful and children can get raised to be happy individuals even after being pushed to excel (Stenson, 2014).


Parents need to make sure it is the dream of their children to engage in sport in order to avoid pushing them too hard whichaffects them negatively. If children get involved in sports, parents should let them enjoy and not push them too hard that they lose the joy of the sport. Parents should give the children guidance, observe and listen to the needs of the children. Parents should not impose their achievements to their children. Parents should enjoy the sporting experience by watching their children play. Child care organization coordinate their work effectively andensure that young children are not coerced to appoint of getting abused bytheir parents so that they can excel in sports.


It is evident that many children get pushed to sports by their parents at a very young age. Sports are recognizable areas of accomplishment in the society. Sport has increasingly gained popularity and parents get motivated by fame and celebrity status. The developed world is notorious in cases of parents forcing their children to sporting activities. The sports experts argue that choice and timing should get left strictly to children to decide and the children vulnerable to such violations should get the full protection by the law (Lobello, 2014). Numerous studies have shown the positive impact of sporting activities in children. Parents need to get aware of trends in sports that are negative such as drug abuse and alcoholism. Sports can lead to nationalism and excessive competition that can divide nations and communities. We should not forget the issues of corruption, cheating, doping and violence. However, sporting benefits are more compared to negatives associated to it.

Work cited

1. Hatter, Kathrun. ” The Effect of Parents Pushing Their Kids in Sports.” Globalpost. Web. 9 Nov. 2014.
2. Barboza, Sean. ” What Are the Effects on Children Whose Parents Push Them in Sports?” EHow Contributor. Web. 9 Nov. 2014. parents-push-sports. html>
3. Wilson, Karen. ” Sports Are Child’s Play; Pushy Parents Can Make It Hard for Underachieving
Athletes: [FINAL Edition].” 01908286 (1990): C16. ProQuest Newsstand. Web. 5 Nov. 2014. .
4. Ellis, Baldwin. ” Negative Effects of Parents That Push Their Children Into Playing Sports.” :
Http://www. livestrong. com/article/523031-negative-effects-of-parents-that-push-their-children-into-playing-sports/. Livestrong. com, 16 Aug. 2013. Web. 9 Nov. 2014.
5. Kevin, Helliker. The Problem for Sports Parents — As Spending Increases, Children’s Motivation Can Decrease; Some Parents Expect a Return on Investment 00999660 (2014): D. 1. ProQuest Newsstand. Web. 5 Nov. 2014. .
6. Hatter, Kathryn. ” Reasons Parents Push Children in Sports.” : Http://everydaylife. globalpost. com/reasons-parents-push-children-sports-3869. html. Globalpost. Web. 9 Nov. 2014.
7. Stenson, Jacqueline. ” Pushing Too Hard Too Young.” http://www. nbcnews. com/id/4556235/ns/health-childrens_health/t/pushing-too-hard-too-young/#. VGKbsTotAkk. NBCNEWS. com, 29 Apr. 2004. Web. 3 Nov. 2014.
8. Lobello, Karen. ” The Effects of Pushing Your Kids Too Far.” Http://mom. me/parenting/5262-effects-pushing-your-kids-too-far/. Mom. me. Web. 3 Nov. 2014.