Sideline Siblings

Boy with soccer ball

There’s something about kids in their oversized soccer uniforms chasing a mini ball around a mini field that just pulls at every single one of my heart strings.  

This Saturday just gone, Master Four had his usual weekly match.  His games are a pleasure to watch … and so is his development in the sport and in himself.  Nothing new to report really - most parents feel this way about the sport their child plays.

It’s what I observed in his siblings that inspired this week’s post.

Sport embraces life lessons beyond the ball, field, pool, beach and the like.  There is ample research in this space touting the benefits sports provides in a social sense.  UQ Sport cites camaraderie and learning to lose amongst the psychological perks. Cooperation, selflessness and communication with other children being those mentioned on the Australian Government website; Health Direct. What I witnessed in my own children on the weekend was an example of how the benefits can reach further than the child actually participating in the sport.

Let me set the scene.

Saturday morning, we rise at 7am.  I whisper in Master Four’s ear that today is soccer day.  The grogginess lasts a millisecond and he bounds out of bed full of excitement.  His older brother and sister follow. Not so much excitement. Until …

Master Nine remembers he has an old soccer uniform in the back of his cupboard and he has recently appointed himself chief sub timer.  So he dons the team black and red, closely followed by Miss Seven, the self proclaimed cheerleader and chief half-time-oranges-distributor.

My heart bursts with pride.

We head off to the game with a car full of team pride and excited siblings.  Car rides such as this are few and far between - so the change brings a much welcomed uplift in mood.


Soccer siblings

A sense of belonging is one of the social benefits of sport and this was very clear to our family on Saturday morning.  The knock on effect this had to the two children cheering from the sidelines was an eye opener for me. I know that there have been times when I would prefer to keep the siblings at home than listen to the ‘I’m bored’ card every five seconds.  But perhaps there is something in teaching them to support their friends and/or family as a spectator.

  • What do you think?
  • How do your children handle being their siblings’ spectators?  
  • Is it easier for you to leave siblings behind?
  • Do you children play the same sport?

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I have put together some suggestions of tasks that can be assigned to siblings in this week’s download.  If you’d like a copy - please do get in touch - I’ll send one to your email inbox within 24 hours!  The list is by no means exhaustive - I would love to hear what has worked for you!

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