Investing In Your Child ?

What is the cost of having a child? Well, it depends. Is your child around so that you don’t feel alone, to continue your legacy, to represent your family name, or just because shit life happens? Either way, children are a blessing. They are an expense. They are a joy. They are a pain. And most times, parents make a significant impact on the livelihood of their child.

Of course, you have the oppositionally defiant child that you would swear are on this Earth solely to eradicate your very existence.

Then you have the trophy child who is quiet, observant, and the one that just does everything right.

And then there are children who are a little bit of everything. Sometimes they love you, other times they hate you. I feel a lot of children here in the USA fall in between.

I find that with my Capricorn Gen Z child, in particular, he is absolutely set on what he wants. He is not easily persuaded (at least by me) and has a pretty good attitude about life and his well-being. From the ripe age of 3 to 6 I exposed him to Karate ?, Basketball ?, Football ?, Tennis ??, and Soccer ⚽. He loved Tennis so I put most of my time and energy to support what he liked, yes I became a Tennis Mom. I invested relentlessly into his pursuit of Tennis from special racquets every few weeks/months, to tennis shoes that he grew in and out of quickly or wore down completely. Then the shopping to buy tennis attire, registered matches, events, equipment, coaches and training sessions, summer camps, afterschool, and winter camps that all added up to my emptier wallet to prove. Oh, the time I recall spent taking him from one Tennis center to the next via car, public transportation, or cab to make it on time to his many tournaments or practice. The endless words of encouragement and support provided. Why, because I want him to be somebody and to do something other than live and breathe the good air. I want him to be a productive member of society. A stretch would be to represent the USA in the Olympics ?but I will take whatever.

After years of spending half his life playing Tennis, and being selected 1 of 20 out of over 150 applicants in NYJTL’s tournament group, he decided at the age of 13 that he was simply unhappy playing. Or in his words “Tennis doesn’t make me happy anymore”. Thank You COVID, you also ruined my son’s love of one of the best recreational and competitive sports out there. In retrospect, he was able to find comfort in staying indoors and gaming on his PC. Something he did not have prior to the long-term effects of the pandemic. I am not saying I don’t support him gaming. I am just saying that I wish that he was able to interact with more Tennis family and friends like before (he would not not be influenced negatively to playing sports). I also wish that he saw that gaming is like going Pro (rare). And that he should have other options. Or maybe he does see that and will take interest in Computer Programming, Software Development or Game Testing etc. ?

With his mental health as my priority, I am letting him take a break from Tennis (it’s been a little over 3 months since his last match). And hopefully, he will get back into the sport. ? I want him to be active. It doesn’t have to be Tennis. But he is actually good at it. He is also good at gaming, but only one will keep him in the best health long term. With me not being apart of a young Gen Z nation, I find the norm of staring at a computer screen for several hours whether remote learning or gaming not the best for youthful eyes.

I don’t want him to feel like I am forcing him to do something he truly doesn’t want to. Even though he is not 100% sure about what he will want to do when Fornite and Minecraft become a thing of the past (not soon but eventually).

So, would you give your child a choice in the matter? Would you force your child to play a sport?