Rabbi Ross. My 9-year-old son is very unique – he hates sports. He is content playing with Legos all day and refuses to go outside and play with his friends. I‘m worried about this for two reasons. First of all, I think it’s detrimental socially. Also, it’s unhealthy for him to spend every waking moment inside the house. What can we do to get him outside? Private – Woodmere
I hate to break this to you, but he is not unique. There are many children that are like this and it’s quite common. You do have to differentiate between him disliking sports and exercise. Many children hate the competitive part of sports, either because they don’t like the intensity, or they aren’t good at it. However, not being willing to exercise or play outside at all is a totally separate issue.
You didn’t mention electronics, which is a completely different ballgame (pun definitely intended). Therefore, we’re going to assume that your son is not spending large amounts of time playing electronic devices, rather he’s just very involved with puzzles, Legos and similar activities.
Let’s first assume that your son doesn’t like sports. There is nothing wrong with that. You have many options available, and I’ll list a few of them.
Have a good Shabbos
5/3/2018 10:21:36 pm
I could have written this about my 12 year old. What I did, was insist that he have 2 play dates a month. That way he had a connection to sports without being overbearing.
5/3/2018 10:36:21 pm
You know, not everyone plays sports. I have a funny feeling Bill Gates wasn't an athlete. It's ok. You are very correct about the need for some outdoors or fresh air, but parents need to stop worrying about their child playing ball. Get over it.
A Bubby & Zaidy
5/3/2018 11:16:41 pm
Years back, there wasn't that much ball playing to being with. We didn't even have that much lego. If my memory serves me correctly, we would hang out and go biking or walking together. It was a great time for learning social skills. My wife is telling me that I'm rambling on, but I don't think you can ramble if you're writing.
5/4/2018 08:10:00 am
My mind went to electronics first. I was sure that was what this boys was doing. That's what kids usually do nowadays when they're not playing sports.
5/4/2018 08:15:28 am
Biking is great. It's a form of exercise that most children enjoy, and it's a great workout. You need to make sure that your children understand the safety rules.
5/5/2018 11:18:35 pm
This article was very well written. My kids all disliked organized sports. Our oldest we fought with a lot, but as we got smarter we let them be. They are now all much more involved in sports except for the one we pushed.
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Rabbi Yitzie Ross is a Rebbe and has been working with parents and kids for many years. You can read more about him in the "about" section.