"Football has the ability to teach lifelong lessons."
My sister and brother-in-law are die-hard Panthers fans. I seriously think they bleed blue and dab in their sleep. They're always wanting to tailgate for home games and don't mind if they have to sit far up in the stadium, as long as they are in the building. They have also passed that passion on to my niece and nephew, who, from the womb, were groomed to love the Panthers.
So, imagine their surprise when my 7 year old niece decided that this was the season to come into her own and cheer for her new favorite team, the Seattle Seahawks. She now walks around yelling "Beast Mode baby," and I know inside my sister and brother are cringing. But they have been supportive. Even when she suggested turning her Luke Kuchley jersey into a Russell Wilson jersey. It was then that I truly began seeing the beauty in football.
Football has the ability to teach lifelong lessons. I know it has taught my niece many - one being independence. Overnight it seems she has become her own little person, capable of making decisions on her own, and standing firmly with them, even when she is the only one in her home cheering on the Seahawks.
Football has taught her patience. She used to get upset over any play -- good or bad -- that didn't end in a touchdown. The Seahawks could run for 30 yards but not score, and she'd be devastated. So, my sister talked to her one day about being patient, and realizing that other things have to happen for her team to score. And now, she knows that a first down is a reason to cheer.
It has also taught her about commitment. Even when the Panthers beat the Seahawks, she didn't waiver in her support, because she now knows that even when things seem tough, you don't just jump ship. Even though this wasn't the Seahawks' year, next year is still up for grabs.
If parents are looking for a way to get through to their kids when other things seem to not be working, consider football (or any sport that seems to interest them) and turn it into a teaching moment.
You may be surprised to find out just how effective it could be.