I spent my Sunday morning, as I typically do, not lounging around in bed with a cup of tea and Netflix, but on the touchline of a cold and extremely damp football pitch. As hard as it is to leave my warm bed, even though there’s no-one keeping my side warm, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Dexter has been part of a football team for nearly two years and signing him up was the best decision I ever made. He’d badgered me for ages to sign him up to a team and with his Dad not being around, this (amongst a myriad of a thousand other things) fell to me to organise. I was well aware of the commitment it would take … not just from Dexter, but also from me. My eldest, Ben, had not only played football in his formative years, but also rugby for five years and I found myself travelling across Kent and London every weekend to take him to games … whilst studying for a degree. My poor Shakespeare anthology took a right bashing!
We’ve both learnt a lot during these past two years. Dexter has been in situations that have tested his issues of self-confidence, self-belief and strength of character, and subsequently that’s tested my parenting skills. I actually think we’ve grown closer because of it.
Another thing I’ve noticed during this time is how important it is that Dexter and his team-mates are loyal to each other. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing all the boys support each other during training and official games. Having said that, there’s nothing worse than seeing the few occasions where that support waivers and blame comes into play … usually if they’re losing!
But these boys are aged 9-11 and are at a developmental phase of their football ‘career’ and I think they’re all learning what it takes, not only to be a good player, but also to be a good friend and team-mate. It’s difficult for them when frustrations run high and they just want to win, but we’re lucky that we have a great manager that does his best to keep the boys on track and teach them, not just the offside rule, but how to be a good person.
For boys like Dexter that don’t have their Dad in their lives, a role model like this is invaluable. He’s not teaching my boy anything I don’t, but to hear it from an important (male) in his life goes a long way to reinforce how hard I work to ensure that I raise a lovely young respectful man.
The boys lost today … to the team that’s at the top of the league, and I think they’re all probably licking their wounds somewhat. But I think the foundations have been laid so that next week, they can re-group and come back stronger. Well that’s the plan!
It’s also good to see that some companies too are taking this motto of fairness and loyalty on board and Natwest are a company who have recently begun a Hello/Goodbye campaign to show that they are saying goodbye to best offers only being aimed at new customers (whilst excluding existing ones). There’s a funny video to accompany the campaign that drives the point home!
- I’m working with BritMums and NatWest on this project and have been compensated. All opinions are my own.